Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon has been constantly compared to Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder thanks to the eye for business and innovation, but, just like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, their success stories rely on what they have in common, namely growing up without a biological father. The CEO of Amazon was adopted when he was just a child and his father disappeared from his life, only to appear when he had already become one of the wealthiest men in the world; the driving force behind Apple shared the same emotional shortcoming, because had almost no contact with his Syrian father.
Brad Stone, the author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon found out what Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos have in common while trying to reveal the road which led Amazon’s executive to become a powerful person, namely that they grew up without their biological fathers. According to Adam Pertman, executive director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, adoption “can affect you in a million different ways,” but the common denominator of those developing sans a biological parent is the constant desire to prove that they can become successful. Pertman also believes that people like Jobs and Bezos, who grew up in a family that nurtured them were “onto success,” but their refusal to speak about this aspect of their lives was ultimately seen as a denial of their roots.
The Road to Success
Stone found Bezos’ father in a bike shop the latter owns in Arizona and, instead of a having discussion about his son’s sound success, the author learned that, like Jobs, Amazon’s CEO had kept no relationship with his biological father. Ted Jorgensen married Bezos’ mother when they were only teenagers, but split because of his drinking problem. Jackie Jorgensen later married Miguel Bezos, a Cuban immigrant who shaped Jeff into the executive he is today. When asked about his famous child, Jorgensen proved oblivious of his son’s existence and wealth, which clearly meant that what Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos have in common is growing up without their biological fathers.
Apple’s founder’s father Abdulfattah John Jandali and his mother Joanne Simpson put their baby for adoption and did not have the chance to reunite, because wealth made it impossible for Jandali, a vice president of a casino in Reno, Nevada to reconnect with his long-lost son. The man told New York Post that he did not know Jobs was his child until years before the latter’s death and he did not want to call him for fear that it would seem he was only after his child’s fortune.
Pertman believes that it is difficult to reconnect after parents give up their child, especially when there is wealth involved, so the case of both tech executives is more than an occurrence; the reason why plenty people who grew up without one or both biological parents turn up to be successful remains unknown, but adoption could be the driving force of success, because the child wishes to prove his or her ability to succeed in life. What Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos have in common is not only an eye for innovation and greatness, but also growing up without their biological fathers, which shaped their existence and offered them a reason to outshine their emotional shortcomings and turn them into something productive.
By Gabriela Motroc