In an excerpt from his new book The Everything Store, Brad Stone explores how Jeff Bezos turned Amazon into an online retailing giant—and tracks down Bezos’s biological father:
“I found Ted Jorgensen, Jeff Bezos’s biological father, behind the counter of his bike shop in late 2012. I’d considered a number of ways he might react to my unannounced appearance but gave a very low probability to the likelihood of what actually happened: He had no idea what I was talking about. Jorgensen said he didn’t know who Jeff Bezos was and was baffled by my suggestion that he was the father of this famous CEO.
“I mentioned Jacklyn Gise and Jeffrey, the son they had during their brief teenage marriage. The old man’s face flushed with recognition. ‘Is he still alive?’ he asked, not yet fully comprehending.
“‘Your son is one of the most successful men on the planet,’ I told him. I showed him some Internet photographs on my smartphone, and for the first time in 45 years, Jorgensen saw his biological son. His eyes filled with sorrow and disbelief.”