Details About Jeff Bezos' Biological Father, Who Died Before They Ever Got To Meet

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Who Is Ted Jorgensen? Details About Jeff Bezos' Biological Father
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The world has had its eyes on Jeff Bezos, the mega-wealthy CEO of Amazon, since he announced his divorce from wife Mackenzie Benzos on Twitter.

Soon afterward, details and images surfaced about the billionaire and Lauren Sanchez, his alleged girlfriend.

RELATED: Who Is Lauren Sanchez? Details About The Woman In The Middle Of Jeff Bezos' $137 Billion Divorce

Family is important to Bezos; even though he and his wife are divorcing, Bezos made sure to make sure they are still called a “family.”

The Bezos family, however, is not so clear-cut. In face, the man Bezos calls his dad, Mike Bezos, is not his biological father.

Jeff is seemingly phased by this fact, which he learned at age 10 when his parents sat him down to reveal the truth. “The reality, as far as I’m concerned, is that my Dad is my natural father,” he told Wired in 1999. “The only time I ever think about it, genuinely, is when a doctor asks me to fill out a form.”

Mike is a Cuban immigrant that escaped Castro’s regime in the early 1960s. He arrived in the United States on his own when he was 15 and lived at a Catholic mission in Delaware. He learned English and graduated high school, then moved across the country to New Mexico for college. Mike finished his education and began working for Exxon as a petroleum engineer, which sent the family around the country.

Jeff Bezos’s biological father, Ted Jorgensen, was located in Glendale, Arizona in 2012 by reporter Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and Amazon.

1. Jorgensen was 18 when Jeff was born.

He and Jeff’s mother, Jackie Gise, met when they were in high school. Gise became pregnant when she was 17, and the two wed before Jeff was born on Jan. 12, 1964.

Their marriage lasted for 17 months. After their divorce, Jorgensen paid child support when he could. He also signed off on his son’s name change when his ex-wife married Mike Bezos three years later, and Mike adopted Jeff.

2. He was a unicyclist.

Stone found Jorgensen in his bike shop in Arizona. Page Six reported that when he was a young adult — when his son was born — Jorgensen was “a unicyclist and rising star on the niche market.”

Jorgensen admitted to his faults when he was young. “I wasn’t a good father or a husband,” he told Stone. Gise had moved in with her parents around that time since Jorgensen would stay out late and drink.

RELATED: Who Is Jeff Bezos' Wife? Details About Their 25-Year Marriage (And Impending $137 Billion Divorce)

3. He had no idea his son was Jeff Bezos until he was approached in 2012.

The last Jorgensen heard of his son was when he signed off on Jeff’s last name change — after that, Jorgensen forgot about the Bezos name. He fell out of touch with his ex-wife.

“I had a number,” Jorgensen said, “but Jeff’s mother asked me not to interfere so I didn’t want to call.”

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Stone said when he told Jorgensen that he was there to interview him about Bezos, the 69-year-old was reportedly shocked.

“He had no idea what I was talking about,” Stone said. “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.

4. Jorgensen passed away in 2015 and never met his biological son.

Bezos’s biological father passed away when he was 70 years old. A family source told Page Six, “...the sad part is that he never met Jeff after he found out he was his biological father. He went to his grave never having spoken to him. He would never talk about it, but I know it was hard for him.”

Jorgensen expressed a desire to meet his son during his interview in 2012. “I just want to see him as my son, just to have him acknowledge that I’m his father and he’s my son. Other than that I don’t want anything from him. I don’t want to push my way in or push the other dad out of the way. I’d just like to see him.”

Although Jeff was Jorgensen’s only biological son, Jorgensen was a “loving” stepfather to his wife Lisa’s four sons.

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Alison Cerri is an editorial intern at YourTango. When she's not writing, she can be found on a run or at rugby practice. Follow her on Instagram.

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