Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos' Long Lost Dad Wants To See His Son
You would never guess in a million—or should we say 27 billion years—that this bicycyle repairman is the long-lost biological father of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, the man who changed the way we shop.
The 69-year-old Ted Jorgensen shares similarities with Bezos. They even share the same laugh.
Until recently, Jorgensen had never even heard of Amazon. He doesn't even use a computer.
Jorgensen says he still remembers the very last time he saw his son.
"I was working in a Walmart and I remember them coming to visit me for some reason. It was cold and he had his little winter coat on and I just remember him walking down the aisle coming to see me," recalled Jorgensen.
Jeff Bezos' mother, Jackie and Jorgensen were teenagers when they got married in 1963. Back then, Jorgensen was a poor circus performer. Their son, Jeff was born in 1964. After the marriage broke up, Jorgenson gave up custody. Jackie remarried Mike Bezos, who adopted Jeff and raised him as his own.
INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret asked, "Have you ever regretted that decision?"
"A big mistake. But at the time, I thought it was the best," he said.
Jorgensen opened a bike shop and toiled away in obscurity for the next 40 years. He was working at his bike shop in Phoenix, Arizona when a biographer writing a book about Jeff Bezos came in with news that would change his life forever.
Moret asked, "When the writer came in and told you that your son was Jeff Bezos, what was your reaction?"
"He asked me if I knew who Jeff Bezos was," recalled Jorgensen. "I said, 'No, the name kind of sounds familiar but I don't know him.' "
Jorgensen lives in a modest house in a middle class Phoenix suburb, a far cry from Bezos' lakefront mansion in Seattle.
Forbes magazine lists Bezos as America's 12th richest man, worth an estimated $27 billion.
Jorgensen's second wife of 26 years, Linda, says because Bezos is so rich and powerful, contacting him is difficult.
"Because of who Jeff is, I think it's made an obstacle that wouldn't have been if he was a garbage collector," said Linda.
Bezos has made only one comment about his biological father: "I've never met him. The only time I ever think about it is when a doctor asks me to fill out a form."
Jorgensen is battling emphysema. He says he wants to see his son one last time before he dies. He says he doesn't want a penny from his son and just wants to apologize for what he calls the biggest mistake of his life.
Moret asked, "What would you say to him?"
Jorgensen answered, "I would just like to tell him I used to change his diapers and just shake his hand and tell him he's really done a good job with his life."