By Áine Cain/Business Insider
January 26, 2018

Jeff Bezos wasn’t alone when he made his cross-county road trip to Seattle in 1994. And he wasn’t alone when he founded Amazon, the online retail giant some analysts now believe will be the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

His wife, MacKenzie, was there for the whole journey.

In an interview with CBS, she described watching her husband build Amazon up from scratch: “To me, watching your spouse, somebody that you love, have an adventure — what is better than that?”

Today, Bloomberg estimates Bezos is worth $104 billion— making him the richest person in history, according to CNN.

Here’s a look inside the marriage of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos.

MacKenzie and Jeff first met at investment management firm D.E. Shaw. MacKenzie was a research associate and Jeff was a vice president. Jeff was the first person to interview MacKenzie — a fellow Princeton grad — at the firm.

Jean-Paul Aussenard—WireImage

Source: Business Insider, Forbes, Vogue

“I think my wife is resourceful, smart, brainy, and hot, but I had the good fortune of having seen her résumé before I met her, so I knew exactly what her SATs were,” he joked to Vogue.

Lara Flynn Boyle, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and wife Mackenzie (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)
Jean-Paul Aussenard—WireImage

Source: Vogue

After she landed the job, they became office neighbors. “All day long I listened to that fabulous laugh,” she told Vogue. “How could you not fall in love with that laugh?”

The Washington Post—The Washington Post/Getty Images

Source: Vogue

Jeff said he knew from the beginning he wanted to marry a resourceful person.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 08: (L-R) Actor Matt Damon, Luciana Damon, MacKenzie Bezos, and Amazon Founder/CEO Jeff Bezos attend Amazon Studios Golden Globes Celebration at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 8, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon)
Todd Williamson—Getty Images for Amazon

Source: Wired, Business Insider

“Nobody knows what you mean when you say, ‘I’m looking for a resourceful woman,'” he told Wired. “If I tell somebody I’m looking for a woman who can get me out of a Third World prison, they start thinking Ross Perot — they have something they can hang their hat on!”

Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer Inc., and his wife Mackenzie Bezos arrive at the Robin Hood Foundations annual benefit in New York, U.S., on Monday, May 12, 2014. The annual event last year raised $80.7 million for the foundation, which fights poverty in New York City by supporting more than 200 nonprofits with financial and technical assistance. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Source: Wired, Business Insider

MacKenzie made the first move and asked Jeff out to lunch. They were engaged within three months, and married within six.

Jeff Bezos, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Inc., and wife MacKenzie Bezos arrive for morning sessions at the 28th annual Allen & Co. Media and Technology Conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., on Saturday, July 10, 2010. Allen & Co., the boutique New York investment bank, invites executives from start-ups in media and technology to mingle with bankers and moguls at the event. The mixture, along with presentations trumpeting new business models, has led to acquisitions and investments in the past. Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Source: Wired

Then, Jeff told his wife about his business idea. MacKenzie said that, while she’s not a “business person,” she could hear the passion in her husband’s voice when he spoke. The following year, in 1994, they quit their jobs and traveled to Seattle to found Amazon.

Source: CBS This Morning

MacKenzie became an accountant for Amazon, and was one of the company’s earliest employees.

Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, and his wife MacKenzie Bezos arrive on the red carpet at the Amazon Studios after-party celebrating the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. (Photo by Paul Mounce/Corbis via Getty Images)
Paul Mounce—Corbis via Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

Until around 1999, the couple lived in a one-bedroom rental house in Seattle, according to Wired. Today, they own five houses across the US, in Medina, Washington, Beverly Hills, Van Horn, Texas, DC, and Manhattan. Jeff is the 25th largest landowner in the US, according to Business Insider.

Source: Business Insider, Wired

But, until 2013, MacKenzie still drove their four kids to school and then dropped Jeff off at work in their Honda. Family friend Danny Hillis told Vogue that the Bezos’ “…are such a normal, close-knit family, it’s almost abnormal.”


Source: Vogue

The family also adheres to a fairly normal routine. The Bezos family reportedly starts off the day with a healthy breakfast. To spend more time with the family, Jeff never schedules early-morning meetings at Amazon.

Source: Entrepreneur, Inc.

When it comes to educating their four kids, MacKenzie told Vogue the couple has tried a range of strategies, including, “off-season travel, kitchen-science experiments, chicken incubation, Mandarin lessons, the Singapore math program, and lots of clubs and sports with other neighborhood kids.”

CEO of Jeff Bezos and family attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures' "Star Trek Beyond" at Embarcadero Marina Park South on July 20, 2016 in San Diego, California.
Todd Williamson—Getty Images

MacKenzie — who was an assistant to Toni Morrison in college — is now a novelist. When she needs to write, Bezos retreats to her own small apartment, where she writes until it’s time to pick the kids up from school. MacKenzie told Vogue her husband is her “best reader.”

SUN VALLEY, ID - JULY 12: Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, and his wife Mackenzie Bezos arrives for the Allen & Co., arrives to the Allen & Co. annual conference July 12, 2013 in Sun Valley, Idaho. The resort will host corporate leaders for the 31st annual Allen & Co. media and technology conference where some of the wealthiest and most powerful executives in media, finance, politics and tech gather for a weeklong meetings which begins Tuesday. Past attendees included Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian—Getty Images

Source: Vogue

He’d often drop other plans to read and carefully review manuscripts of her first novel “The Testing of Luther Albright.” For MacKenzie’s second novel, “Traps,” she decided to not share her work with her husband until was finished.

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO, and his wife Mackenzie Bezos arrives for the Allen & Co., arrives to the Allen & Co. annual conference July 12, 2013 in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Kevork Djansezian—Getty Images

“The sooner I finished, the sooner I could share it with him and talk about these characters who had been taking up so much space in my head,” she told Vogue.

NEW YORK CITY, NY - NOVEMBER 5: Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos attend The Aspen Institute 26th Annual Awards Dinner at The Plaza Hotel on November 5, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by MAX RAPP/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Patrick McMullan—Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Source:, Vogue

But still, MacKenzie didn’t become a part of Amazon’s new publishing imprint. “We are calling her the fish that got away,” Jeff told Vogue.

Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Inc. and founder of Blue Origin LLC, smiles while speaking at the unveiling of the Blue Origin New Shepard system during the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.
Matthew Staver/Bloomberg—Getty Images

MacKenzie told Vogue that their contrasting personalities complement each other. “He likes to meet people. He’s a very social guy. Cocktail parties for me can be nerve-racking. The brevity of conversations, the number of them — it’s not my sweet spot,” she said.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 28: Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos participate in the opening ceremony of the newspaper's new location January 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Bezos purchased the newspaper and media company in October of 2013 from the storied Graham family. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

Source: Vogue

They’re so in tune that Jeff will often buy clothes for MacKenzie on the fly, he told Vogue. “Sometimes I call her and say, ‘What’s your such-and-such size?’ and she says, ‘Why?’ and I say, ‘None of your business!’ It delights her.”

Michael Kovac—Getty Images for for J/P HRO Gala

Source: Vogue

And the Amazon CEO has said he wraps up the day with a chore that his wife appreciates: washing the dishes. “I’m pretty convinced it’s the sexiest thing I do,” he told Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
Matthew Staver—Bloomberg via Getty Images

This article originally appeared on


You May Like