Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are currently nearly tied for the world’s richest individual. Bezos topped Gates for a day due to a surge in Amazon stock, but Microsoft’s founder regained the title quickly. They each have roughly $90 billion. Does it really matter to them who is richer?
Bill Gates is quoted in Biography from a previous interview with the Daily Telegraph plainly saying he had more than enough money.
“I’m certainly well taken care of in terms of food and clothes. Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point. Its utility is entirely in building an organization and getting the resources out to the poorest in the world.”
Bill Gates is currently feeding his funds into the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in an attempt to eradicate disease in third-world nations, as well as other projects. Jeff Bezos is spending his money to build a colony on the moon through his aerospace company Blue Origin. Bezos is still actively building Amazon as well.
Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos certainly didn’t start out with $90 billion. So how did Bill and Jeff end up the two richest men in the world? Reportedly. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos never set out to get rich.
Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to Biography. Bezos’ parents, Jacklyn and Ted Jorgensen, were married less than a year. When Jeff was 4 years old, his mother married Mike Bezos, a Cuban immigrant. Jeff’s grandparents owned a Texas ranch where young Jeff spent a lot of time learning to take care of cattle according to BBC.
Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, to Mary and William Gates Sr., according to Biography. Bill’s parents were at least relatively wealthy. William Sr. was an attorney, and the family sent young Bill to Lakeside, a private school.
Jeff Bezos went to Princeton where he studied computer science and electrical engineering. Bill Gates went to Harvard and studied computer science and mathematics.
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to found Microsoft in 1976. Jeff Bezos quit his very lucrative day job to found Amazon as an online bookstore in 1994. In both cases, Jeff and Bill did the unexpected.
While Bill Gates dropped out of college to start Microsoft, Jeff Bezos graduated and quickly became Senior VP of D.E. Shaw, an investment firm. Four years later Bezos quit his prestigious corporate job to start a virtual bookstore out of his garage. It sounded a little bit crazy, especially in 1994.
Jeff Bezos is quoted in CNBC explaining why he was proud of his decision.
“I took the less safe path to follow my passion and I’m proud of that choice,”
Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos both started companies from the ground up. Amazon took off quickly, turning $20,000 a week in the first 30 days. Gates, however, was ahead of his time and with a very complex task ahead took years honing Microsoft’s various software before even making a deal with IBM in 1980.
Jeff Bezos formulated a plan and took a major risk to follow his dream. Bill Gates no doubt raised some eyebrows when he dropped out of Harvard as well. Who would have thought that dropping out of a college like Harvard was a good idea?
Today Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos both have a lot more money than anyone could ever logically need, as the Microsoft tycoon has pointed out.
Bill Gates decided to try to help mankind by founding The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Helping people has always been Bill Gates’ real goal. After all, Gates changed the world with Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer — where would anyone be without those crucial innovations?
Jeff Bezos is still actively running and developing Amazon, unlike Bill Gates who has effectively retired from Microsoft to pursue the goals of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos may be at the top of the game, but they are not alone in their billionaire status. In 1987, there were 140 billionaires in the world who possessed $295 billion between them. Today there are 2,043 billionaires who together hold $7.7 trillion, according to CNBC.
Both Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos say they never really intended to get rich. Still, it happened, and Bezos made it look so easy and so elegant. Amazon flourished from the start and is a driving force in 2017. Microsoft has transformed technology, making it possible for the web to become accessible to virtually everyone.
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Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are virtually tied for wealthiest person in the world, but it doesn’t seem to be a competition for them.
[Featured Image by Marty Lederhandler/AP Images]