Jeff Bezos is born with the name Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen in Albuquerque, N.M., on Jan. 12. His mother, Jacklyn 'Jackie' Gise, divorces his father, Theodore Jorgensen, 18 months later and marries Miguel 'Mike' Bezos when Jeff is 4.
A self-described 'goody,' Bezos graduates as class valedictorian from Miami Palmetto Senior High School. He tells The Miami Herald that he wants to build space hotels, amusement parks, yachts and colonies for 2 million or 3 million people orbiting the Earth.
Bezos graduates from Princeton. He had planned to study theoretical physics, but he changes his mind after taking a quantum-mechanics class during his freshman year.
At D.E. Shaw, Bezos meets his future wife, MacKenzie Tuttle, a Princeton graduate and former research assistant to novelist Toni Morrison. They marry at The Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Bezos founded Amazon.com in 1994 after making a cross-country drive from New York to Seattle, writing up the Amazon business plan on the way. He initially set up the company in his garage. He first calls Amazon 'Cadabra.com,' until discovering that it might sound like 'cadaver.com.'
Bezos avoids serious injury in March when a helicopter he was riding in crashes on a mountain range in Texas.
Bezos unveils Amazon's first Kindle e-reader in New York City, hoping to build a market for digital books. The original price is $399.