A look inside the 25-year marriage of the richest couple in history, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos — who met at work, were engaged in 3 months, and together own more land than almost anyone else in America

  • Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday that he and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, would divorce.
  • They were married in 1993, after meeting at D.E. Shaw & Co. Shortly afterward they relocated to Seattle to found Amazon, where MacKenzie Bezos was an early employee.
  • Today, Jeff Bezos is worth an estimated $137 billion, making him one of the richest people in modern history.

Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder and CEO of the online retail giant Amazon, announced Wednesday that he and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos, would divorce.

“As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” the couple said in a statement on Twitter.

Bloomberg estimates Jeff Bezos is worth $137 billion – making him one of the richest people in modern history, according to CNN. He’s also topped Forbes’ annual list of the richest people on the planet. And Amazon in September followed Apple to become the second US company to reach a $1 trillion valuation (though Amazon’s market cap has since dropped to $791 billion).

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


MacKenzie and Jeff first met at the investment management firm D.E. Shaw & Co. 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.

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Danny Moloshok/Reuters

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 in 2013.

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David Ryder/Getty

Source: Vogue


After MacKenzie landed the job, she and Jeff 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?”

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

Source: Vogue


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

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Source: Wired, Business Insider


“Nobody knows what you mean when you say, ‘I’m looking for a resourceful woman,'” he told Wired in 1999. “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!”

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

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.

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Matt Cardy / Stringer / Getty Images

Source: Wired


Then Jeff told MacKenzie about his business idea. She 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.

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Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Source: “CBS This Morning


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

Source: Business Insider


Until about 1999, the couple rented a one-bedroom house in Seattle, according to Wired. Today, they own five houses across the US, in Medina, Washington; Beverly Hills, California; Van Horn, Texas; Washington, DC; and Manhattan, New York. Jeff is the 28th-largest landowner in the US.

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AgnosticPreachersKid/Wikimedia Commons

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. A family friend, Danny Hillis, told Vogue that the Bezoses “are such a normal, close-knit family, it’s almost abnormal.”

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Richard Brian/Reuters

Source: Vogue


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

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Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Source: Entrepreneur, Inc.


When it comes to educating their four kids, Jeff and MacKenzie have 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,” MacKenzie told Vogue.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Source: Vogue


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

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Bruce Guenter/Flickr

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 Jeff until she was finished.

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David Ryder/Getty Images

Source: Heavy.com, Vogue


“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.

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Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Source: Heavy.com, Vogue


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

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Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Source: Heavy.com, Vogue


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

Source: Vogue


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

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Source: Vogue


And the Amazon CEO has said he wraps up the day with a chore that MacKenzie appreciates: washing the dishes. “I’m pretty convinced it’s the sexiest thing I do,” he told Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget in 2014.

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Source: Recode