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Jeff Bezos net worth: Meet the Amazon boss behind the trillion dollar company

Georgia Chambers, Tom Herbert

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has announced he is divorcing his wife MacKenzie after 25 years of marriage.

Bezos, who was last year named as the richest man in modern history, made the announcement on Twitter but confirmed the pair will remain "cherished friends".

The 54-year-old billionaire is the world's richest person with a fortune of more than $160 billion thanks to his stake in Amazon, which this week overtook Microsoft to become the most valuable US firm.

From modest beginnings as an online bookseller, Bezos and Amazon branched out into almost every product category available and last year hit a trillion dollars in value, becoming the second American company to so after Apple.

Here's everything you need to know about the man behind one of the world's biggest companies.

How much is Jeff Bezos worth?

The couple made the announcement on Twitter (AFP/Getty Images)

The Amazon boss was worth $150 billion (£113 billion) in July 2018, making him the richest man on earth since at least 1982 when Forbes first began their billionaire list.

But this week his fortune soared to more than $160 billion after his company surpassed Microsoft to become Wall Street's most valuable company.

According to Business Insider, Bezos is so wealthy that him spending $88,000 dollars is the equivalent to an average person spending $1.

How did he make his money?

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 when it began as an online bookshop before selling a variety of different products, and it ended-up taking on established retail giants such as Walmart.

The company has since continued to diversify and grow, through acquisitions such as Whole Foods and services such as Amazon Web Services.

Under Bezos, Amazon also launched the Kindle e-reader and revolutionized the way books are distributed and read. The company has also been a pioneer in cloud computing.

At the end of 2015, the e-commerce company announced 304 million active member accounts.

In 2018, Amazon's stock soared by 60% and had a market value of more than $890 billion.

Bezos is the largest shareholder with a 16% stake in the company. He also personally owns the Washington Post and Blue Origin, a space exploration company.

Who is his wife, Mackenzie Bezos?

Jeff Bezos (L) and MacKenzie Bezos attend the March 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party (Getty Images)

Novelist Mackenzie Bezos married Jeff in 1993 before they both quit their jobs and relocated to Seattle to found Amazon.

Mackenzie, 48, grew up in San Francisco and attended Princeton University, before she met her husband when interviewing for a job at a New York hedge fund.

She was one of the first Amazon employees, doing the accounting for the company in the first year, with Bezos saying last year that her support was instrumental in founding the company.

He has said of his wife: "I think my wife is resourceful, smart, brainy and hot, but I had the good fortune of having seen her résumé before I met her, so I knew exactly what her SATs were."

The couple have four children and are the 25th largest landowners in the US.

Last year, they launched the Bezos Day One Fund, offering a two billion dollar fund to help homeless families and build pre-schools in low-income neighbourhoods.

Why are they divorcing?

According to the Twitter statement, the couple decided to divorce after a long period of "living exploration" and "trial separation".

Bezos wrote: "We want to make people aware of a development in our lives.

"As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends.

"We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.

"We've had such a great life together as a married couple, and we also see wonderful futures ahead, and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures. Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends."

Who else is on the Forbes billionaire list?

Slipping to second place is Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who last hit the $100 billion mark in 1982.

Also in the top five is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg in at number 5 with a fortune of $71 billion and CEO of Louis Vuitton Bernard Arnault at number 4 with a fortune of $72 billion.