A bike shop owner in Arizona named Ted Jorgensen has just been reported to be the biological father of Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). However, the 69-year old man did not know about it until an author of a new book informed him about his relationship with the Internet billionaire last year.
Author approaches biological father about Bezos
Brad Stone, a reporter at Bloomberg and author of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” found Jorgensen behind the counter of the Road Runner Bike Shop in Glendale, Arizona in late 2012. He approached the Jorgensen and asked about Bezos, but Jorgensen apparently didn’t know Bezos. When Stone suggested that Jorgensen was Bezos’ father, Jorgensen was baffled.
According to the author, “I mentioned about Jacklyn Gise and Jeffrey [Bezos], the son they had during their brief teenage marriage. The old man flushed with recognition. ‘Is he still alive?’ he asked, not yet fully comprehending.”
When Stone informed him that his son was “one of the most successful men on the planet” and showed him some photographs of Bezos on the Internet, he noticed that Jorgensen’s eyes were filled with sorrow and disbelief. It was the first time in 45 years that he had seen a photo of his biological son.
Based on an excerpt from Stone’s book, Bezos’ mother asked Jorgensen’s permission to let her new husband adopt Jeffrey and to changed his surname to Bezos. He thought it over and eventually agreed under the reason that the boy would probably have a better life as the son of Jackie and her new husband Mike Bezos. Jorgensen lost track of the family and forgot their last name because he promised Jackie that he would stay out of their lives.
“I didn’t know where he was, if he had a good job or not, or if he was alive or dead,” said Jorgensen. “I wasn’t a good father or a good husband. It was really all my fault. I don’t blame Jackie at all.”
His surname was changed to Bezos after Miguel Bezos
Jorgensen’s ex-wife Linda said that they have been talking privately about Jeffrey for years. He was planning to re-establish contact with the Bezos family in the future.
Jeff Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen to Ted Jorgensen and Jackie Gise in 1964. His surname was changed to Bezos after Miguel Bezos, his mother’s new husband, who adopted him in 1968.