Ted Jorgensen was a business owner and the biological father of Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man & the founder of the E-commerce giant, Amazon.
Personal Life & Family Background :
- Ted Jorgensen was born in Chicago in 1944. He had a brother Gordon Jorgensen.
- He had his first son Jeffrey Preston Bezos (later known as just Jeff Bezos, then known as just Jeffrey) in January 1964 with his girlfriend at the time Jackie Gise. At that time, the couple were young teenagers.
- Ted was married to second wife Linda for 27 years before he died.
- Besides his son Jeffrey, Ted had four stepchildren – Mike, Todd, Darin, and Lee. He also had ten grandchildren.
- Ted passed away on March 16, 2015, never meeting his son Jeff after he became an adult and later a multi-billionaire.
- Jorgensen’s funeral service was held at Phoenix Memorial Park, Arizona.
Jeff and Ted : A tumultuous journey
- Ted and his then-girlfriend Jackie had flown to Mexico with their parents’ money to get married after Jackie had got pregnant with Jeff.
- Unfortunately, after just seventeen months of marriage, Ted and Jackie filed for divorce in June 1965, on account of Ted being an inattentive and selfish person. He was also a careless father and husband & had developed a serious drinking problem by the age of eighteen.
- In 1968, Jackie went on to marry Miguel Bezos, a Cuban immigrant. When Miguel first came to Miami, Florida, from Cuba in 1962, he only knew one word of English, which was ‘hamburger’! He would later become modestly successful, working as a petroleum engineer for Exxon.
- Post their marriage, Jackie and Miguel moved to Houston, Texas, with the young Jeff. It was then that Jackie told Ted to let her second husband Miguel adopt Jeff and never interfere with their lives again.
- Ted agreed to this, stating at the time he thought his son would have a better life growing up with Jackie and Miguel Bezos.
- The last time Ted saw his son, he was only three years old.
- Jeff did not find out that Miguel was not his birth father until he was eight. However, he grew up keeping the last name of his step-dad, becoming ‘Jeff Bezos.’ In the 1990s, he founded Amazon, now one of the world’s biggest companies and a mammoth financial success.
- Ted found out about his son Jeff when the fact was revealed to him by Brad Stone, a Bloomberg Businessweek reporter. Brad had written ‘The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon’ , a book that gave a glimpse of Jeff’s personal life and the exploits and inner workings of Amazon.
- Ted stated honestly to Stone, ‘I wasn’t a good father or husband. I did not know where Jeff was, if he had a decent job or not, or even if he was alive or dead’ .
Early Life and Jobs :
- In his early days, Ted held a menial job at a retail store, earning $1.25 an hour. Ted’s son Jeff now makes multiple times of that, making a whopping 2-5 million dollars an hour!
- Besides his job at the retail store, Ted was also part of a unicycle troupe in the circus.
Business Career & Net Worth :
- In 1974, Ted moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and six years later, he became the owner of a bike shop called ‘Road Runner Bikes’ . He eventually moved his business to Glendale.
- The bike shop was flooded with five-star reviews on the local business website ‘Yelp,’ beating his competition with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.