Jeff Bezos’ Biological Dad Didn’t Know Son Is A Billionaire

Jeff Bezos is one of the world’s 2nd richest men as of October 18, 2023, the founder of Inc. and a household name.

But behind his public persona, there is a less-discussed story involving a biological connection that went unrecognized for the majority of his life. Bezos never knew his biological father, an unassuming Arizona bike shop owner named Ted Jorgensen.

Jeff Bezos with his mother

Ted Jorgensen didn’t know for a long time that Jeff Bezos was his son. They went their separate ways when Bezos was only 1 year old because his mother, Jackie, took him with her. Jorgensen, who was 18 then, had been married to Jackie for a short time.

Jorgensen grew up in a little Arizona town. He was good at sports and really liked playing unicycle hockey. He also loved bikes and started a bicycle store in Glendale, Arizona. People thought he was a friendly and giving person, and his customers and friends liked him a lot.

Ted Jorgensen Jeff bezos biological father
Then and now: Ted Jorgensen was a teenage unicyclist (left) when his son Jeffrey was born, and he only learned that the boy grew up to be Jeff Bezos in 2012 (pictured right 2013, at age 69)

In a 1999 interview, Jeff Bezos mentioned that he had “never actually met” his biological father. Later on, he admitted that he had spent his first year living with Jorgensen.

In 2012, Brad Stone, the author of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and Amazon,” found Jorgensen working at a little bicycle repair shop in Arizona. Jorgensen had no idea about his son’s incredible success in the business world and was unaware of his link to the billionaire.

Jeff Bezos with his mother, Jackie
Jeff Bezos with his mother, Jackie, in 2016. Photo: MOLLY RILEY/AFP/GETTY

Discovering his son’s true identity came as a big surprise to Jorgensen, who had spent many years pondering about how Bezos was doing in life. It’s said that tears welled up in Jorgensen’s eyes, and he found it hard to believe when he saw pictures of his son. He openly shared his regrets for not being the kind of father and husband he had hoped to be. According to Stone’s book, he mentioned, “I wasn’t a good dad or a good husband.

Back then, Jorgensen expressed his intention to reconnect with the Bezos family. He revealed that Bezos was his only child, and he hadn’t seen him since he was a baby. Even though Bezos had become one of the wealthiest people globally, Jorgensen emphasized that what he wanted most was acknowledgment from his son and to acknowledge their father-son bond.

Jeff Bezos with his Mother and Father Miguel

Several months after Stone uncovered their connection, Jorgensen, in an interview with MailOnline, accepted that he had to let go of the hope that Bezos would show any interest in reuniting with him. He mentioned, “I don’t believe he will reach out to me now. I haven’t received any message from him or any sign that he wants to reconnect with me. I had hoped that the publicity might make it happen, but I can’t hold it against him. I suppose I wasn’t a very good dad.””

Even though Jorgensen made public appeals to reunite, and there were reports of Bezos attempting to reach out via a letter, the much-awaited meeting between the father and son never happened. Jorgensen passed away in 2015 at the age of 70, carrying the heavy burden of never having spoken to his son.

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