My mother had me when she was 17, father didn�t know English when he came to US: Jeff Bezos -
My mother had me when she was 17, father didn�t know English when he came to US: Jeff Bezos
Posted 29 Jul 2020 05:20 PM


�Born to Lose, Live to Win� aptly surmises the struggle of billionaire founder of Inc, Jeff Bezos, who is also the world�s richest man. Bezos narrated the story of his parents� struggle and how the idea of Amazon came to him as he sought to paint an American success story during a US Congressional antitrust hearing against his company. Bezos narrated the ordeal of his parents during their initial years and they battled the odds stacked against them. �I�m Jeff Bezos. I founded Amazon 26 years ago with the long-term mission of making it Earth�s most customer-centric company. My mom, Jackie, had me when she was a 17-year-old high school student in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Being pregnant in high school was not popular in Albuquerque in 1964. It was difficult for her. When they tried to kick her out of school, my grandfather went to bat for her,� opened Bezos as he sat to testify before the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law on July 29. �After some negotiation, the principal said, �OK, she can stay and finish high school, but she can�t do any extracurricular activities, and she can�t have a locker.� My grandfather took the deal, and my mother finished high school, though she wasn�t allowed to walk across the stage with her classmates to get her diploma. Determined to keep up with her education, she enrolled in night school, picking classes led by professors who would let her bring an infant to class. She would show up with two duffel bags�one full of textbooks, and one packed with diapers, bottles, and anything that would keep me interested and quiet for a few minutes,� Bezos continued to narrate his mother�s story. Bezos is one of the four CEOs who testified before the Congress defending their companies against accusations of running a monopoly. Other than Bezos, Sundar Pichai of Google�s parent Alphabet, Tim Cook of Apple and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook defended their companies against charges that they are stifling competition and acting consumers� interest. Bezos ought to play the emotional card highlighting the personal struggles and how he built Amazon into the gargantuan success it is today.

�My dad adopted me when I was 4�
The Amazon founder also spoke about his father�s ordeal who he said didn�t even know how to speak English when he emigrated from Fidel Castro�s Cuba to the US. �My dad�s name is Miguel. He adopted me when I was four years old. He was 16 when he came to the United States from Cuba as part of Operation Pedro Pan, shortly after Castro took over. My dad arrived in America alone. His parents felt he�d be safer here. His mom imagined America would be cold, so she made him a jacket sewn entirely out of cleaning cloths, the only material they had on hand. We still have that jacket; it hangs in my parents� dining room,� he said.
�My dad spent two weeks at Camp Matecumbe, a refugee center in Florida, before being moved to a Catholic mission in Wilmington, Delaware. He was lucky to get to the mission, but even so, he didn�t speak English and didn�t have an easy path. What he did have was a lot of grit and determination. He received a scholarship to college in Albuquerque, which is where he met my mom. You get different gifts in life, and one of my great gifts is my mom and dad. They have been incredible role models for me and my siblings our entire lives,� he added.

The genesis of Amazon
Bezos said he used to spend summers on his grandfather�s ranch in Texas. His grandfather, a civil servant and a rancher�who worked on space technology and missile defence systems in the 1950s and �60s for the Atomic Energy Commission� taught him a lot about fixing problems, he Bezos said inspired him. �When you have a setback, you get back up and try again. You can invent your way to a better place. I took these lessons to heart as a teenager and became a garage inventor. I invented an automatic gate closer out of cement-filled tires, a solar cooker out of an umbrella and tinfoil, and alarms made from baking pans to entrap my siblings�. �The concept for Amazon came to me in 1994. The idea of building an online bookstore with millions of titles�something that simply couldn�t exist in the physical world�was exciting to me,� he said.

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