From books to behemoth

Perhaps Jeff Bezos had a crystal ball.
Two decades ago, he foresaw a future when a click would conjure anything from pet food to caviar; malls would fade in popularity; and shops would have to offer entertainment or convenience to survive.
Then he built an empire in that image.
Amazon, which he founded in 1994, is now vying to become the world’s first trillion dollar company, having transformed from niche second-hand book seller to global jack-of-all trades.
But Mr Bezos, now the world’s richest person, claims higher aims than just reshaping the world’s retail market.
He privately owns the Washington Post newspaper. His aerospace firm, Blue Origin, plans to sell tickets for space travel next year. He has also hinted he will announce philanthropic plans this summer.
Years ago, his high-school girlfriend told Wired that she had always expected him to make a fortune, tracing his drive to an early dream of exploring outer space.
“It wasn’t about money itself. It was about what he was going to do with the money, about changing the future,” she told the magazine.
Space colonies
Signs of Mr Bezos’s ambitions emerged decades ago.
The child of teen parents who quickly divorced, he was raised largely in Texas and Florida by his mother Jackie, and his step-father Mike Bezos, an Exxon executive who had fled Cuba as a teenager after Fidel Castro came to power.
He displayed an early inclination for engineering and science, dismantling his crib with a screwdriver at the age of three, according to a 2013 biography by Brad Stone.
In a high school graduation speech, he outlined a vision for establishing colonies in outer space.
At Princeton University, Mr Bezos studied engineering and computer science, later using his skills at financial companies in New York, where he met his wife MacKenzie, now a novelist, at the hedge fund, DE Shaw.

Source: BBC

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