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When a 33-year-old Jeff Bezos took Amazon.com public in 1997, Wall Street was skeptical of the bookselling website started in a Seattle garage. Two decades later, Bezos reigns supreme on “The Forbes 400” for the second year in a row—despite going through the world’s most expensive divorce. After giving a quarter of his Amazon shares to his ex-wife, MacKenzie, Jeff Bezos still has a nearly 12% stake in the $230 billion e-commerce giant and a net worth of $112.2 billion. Here is how the world’s richest person spends his money.
2019 Real Estate - $80 million
Bezos dropped about $80 million on three adjacent New York City apartments this year. The spread includes a three-story penthouse and the two units directly beneath it in 212 Fifth Avenue near Madison Square Park in Manhattan. The main penthouse alone spans three floors, with a private elevator and large terraces.
The billionaire’s housing portfolio also includes a $23 million estate in Washington, DC among many other properties across the country. The Washington mansion is actually an old textile museum and sits in close proximity to the Obama family’s $5.3 million home. A 2017 Land Report names Bezos America’s 28th largest landowner.
Gulfstream Jet - $65 million
Bezos has also bought into the stereotypical toy for the rich – a Gulfstream jet. The billionaire’s top-of-the-line 2015 Gulfstream G-650ER set the billionaire back only $65 million. It can reach speeds of Mach 0.925 or 704 miles an hour and can travel 7,500 nautical miles without needing to refuel.
A Newspaper Company - $250 million
Through his Nash Holdings, Bezos acquired one of America's oldest and most popular newspapers, The Washington Post, in 2013. The $250 million price tag was less than 1% of Bezos’s net worth at the time. The acquisition included the paper as well as its other print properties. The Washington Post was owned by the Graham family for 80 years. Today, the paper has more than 1.5 million digital subscribers, and the business has been profitable for the past three years.
Funding in Google - $1 million
Besides being an early investor in Uber, Bezos was also one of Google’s earliest funders, personally pitching in $1 million in 1998. The funding was a gamble considering that the Amazon founder was worth merely $1.6 billion at the time. Two decades later, the search giant has proven to be money well invested.
A Clock In The Mountains - $42 million
Developed by the Long Now Foundation, the clock is currently under construction on land that Bezos owns in the Sierra Diablo Mountains in Texas. Bezos’ extraordinarily expensive project is being built to last 10,000 years. Special rooms in the clock chambers will open at specific intervals, and a unique chime is designed to ring annually. Most likely the clock will outlast our current civilization. The entrepreneur explained in a tweet that the clocks are a symbol of long-term thinking.