Bezos was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 12, 1964, the son of Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen and Ted Jorgensen.

After Jacklyn divorced Ted, she married Cuban immigrant Miguel "Mike" Bezos in April 1968.

The family moved to Houston, Texas, where Mike worked as an engineer for Exxon after he received a degree from the University of New Mexico.

Shortly after the wedding of his mother, Mike adopted four-year-old Jorgensen, whose surname was then changed to Bezos.

The family moved to Miami, Florida, where Bezos attended Miami Palmetto High School. While Bezos was in high school, he worked at McDonald's as a short-order line cook during the breakfast shift.

Bezos was offered jobs at Intel, Bell Labs, and Andersen Consulting, among others.

In 1986, Bezos graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a 4.2 grade point average and Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and computer science and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Bezos first worked at Fitel, a fintech telecommunications start-up, where he was tasked with building a network for international trade. He was promoted to head of development and director of customer service.

Bezos transitioned into the banking industry when he became a product manager at Bankers Trust, he worked there from 1988 to 1990.

Bezos joined D. E. Shaw & Co, a newly founded hedge fund with a strong emphasis on mathematical modelling, in 1990 and worked there until 1994. he became D. E. Shaw's fourth senior vice-president at the age of 30.

Bezos was working for D. E. Shaw in Manhattan when he met novelist MacKenzie Tuttle. the couple married in 1993. He and his ex-wife MacKenzie are the parents of four children: three sons, and one daughter adopted from China.

Amazon was originally an online bookstore, Bezos had always planned to expand to other products.

Bezos decided to establish an online bookstore. He left his job at D. E. Shaw and founded Amazon in his garage on July 5, 1994, after writing its business plan on a cross-country drive from New York to Seattle.

Bezos first became a millionaire in 1997 after raising $54 million through Amazon's initial public offering (IPO).

Three years after Bezos founded Amazon, he took it public with an initial public offering (IPO).

In response to critical reports from Fortune and Barron's, Bezos maintained that the growth of the Internet would overtake competition from larger book retailers such as Borders and Barnes & Noble.

In September 2000, Bezos founded Blue Origin, a human spaceflight startup company. Bezos has long expressed an interest in space travel and the development of human life in the solar system.

In 2002, Bezos led Amazon to launch Amazon Web Services, which compiled data from weather channels and website traffic.

In late 2002, rapid spending from Amazon caused it financial distress when revenues stagnated. After the company nearly went bankrupt. Bezos closed distribution centers and laid off 14% of the Amazon workforce.

In 2003, Amazon rebounded from financial instability and turned a profit of $400 million.

In November 2007, Bezos launched the Amazon Kindle.

In 2013, Bezos secured a $600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on behalf of Amazon Web Services.

On August 5, 2013, Bezos announced his purchase of The Washington Post for $250 million in cash. To execute the sale, he established Nash Holdings, a limited liability holding company that legally owns the paper.

Bezos purchased The Washington Post, The sale closed on October 1, 2013, and Nash Holdings took control.

In October 2013, Amazon was recognized as the largest online shopping retailer in the world.

In July 2017 Bezos briefly unseated Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates as the wealthiest person in the world.

Bezos announced in September, 2018, that he would commit approximately $2 billion to a fund to deal with American homelessness and establish a network of non-profit preschools for low income communities.

On January 9, 2019, Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced on Twitter their intent to divorce after a "long period" of separation.

In March 2019, Bezos's security consultant accused the Saudi government of hacking Bezos's phone. After a year of meeting in Seattle with Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, to discuss investment opportunities for Saudi Vision 2030.

On April 4, 2019, the divorce was finalized (Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Tuttle).

In January 2020, The Guardian reported that the hack was initiated before the murder but after Khashoggi wrote critically about the crown prince in the Washington Post. Forensic analysis of Bezos's mobile phone conducted by advisory firm FTI Consulting concluded it "highly probable" that the hack was achieved using a malicious file hidden in a video sent in a WhatsApp message to Bezos from the personal account of the crown prince on May 1, 2018. Saudi Arabia has denied the claim.

In February 2020, Bezos pledged $10 billion to combat climate change through the Bezos Earth Fund.

In April 2020, early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Bezos donated $100 million to food banks through Feeding America.

In August 2020, according to Forbes, Bezos had a net worth exceeding $200 billion. In 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bezos's wealth grew by approximately $24 billion.

In November 2020, Bezos announced $791M of donations to established, well-known groups, with $100M each going to Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute, and World Wildlife Fund, and the remainder going to 11 other groups.

On February 2, 2021, Bezos sent an email to all Amazon employees, telling them the transition would give him "the time and energy he needs to focus on the Day 1 Fund, the Bezos Earth Fund, Blue Origin, The Washington Post, and his other passions."

On July 5, 2021, Bezos stepped down as the CEO of Amazon and transitioned into the role of executive chairman; Andy Jassy, the chief of Amazon's cloud computing division, replaced Bezos as the CEO of Amazon.

On July 20, 2021, he launched on the NS-16 mission with his brother Mark Bezos, Wally Funk, and Oliver Daemen. He launched nine days after Richard Branson launched onboard The Virgin Galactic Unity 22 mission.

In September 2021, Bezos co-founded biotechnology company Altos Labs with founder Yuri Milner.

With a net worth of almost $200.1 billion as of September 2021, he is either the wealthiest or second-wealthiest person in the world according to both Forbes and Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.

In February 2020, Bezos purchased the Warner Estate from David Geffen for $165 million, a record price paid for a residence in the Los Angeles area.