Ted Jorgensen was a 69-year-old bike shop owner in Glendale Arizona who became known as the biological father of Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos. He only realized that Jeff was his biological child in the final years of his life. Sadly, Ted passed on in 2015 and never met his son, whom he last saw when he was barely a year old.
The late Ted Jorgensen had Jeff Bezos with Jacklyn (née Gise) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the 12th of January 1964 and named him Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen. Because of circumstances that were presumably beyond his control, he parted ways with Jacklyn and Jeffrey thereafter and it remained so until he took his last breath.
Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen, who was separated from his biological father as a baby, soon became Jeffrey Preston Bezos and is now famed as just Jeff Bezos, a business magnate who founded Amazon and became one of the richest people in the world. Given his massive wealth and influence, it is not hard to see why people have been curious about his biological father even when it is clear that he had no relationship with the man.
The Family Background of Jeff Bezos’ Biological Dad Has Been Traced to Denmark
It was in 1944, precisely on the 10th of October, that Ted Jorgensen was born. His place of birth was in Chicago and he was raised there, even though he later relocated and lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for several years. Ted would later settle in Glendale, Arizona, where he lived for over 35 years before he passed away.
Jorgensen’s origins have been traced to Samsø, a small island in Holbæk, Zealand, a municipality of the Central Jutland Region of Denmark. As the story goes, Ted Jorgensen’s great-grandfather named John Jørgensen left Samsø for America in his late 20s and settled in Chicago. In the city, John and his wife, Ida Minnie Jorgensen, who also immigrated from Denmark, had a son named Theodore “Ted” John Jorgensen sometime in 1917.
Theodore equally got married in the fullness of time and had a son he named after himself, Ted Jorgensen. Nineteen years later, this Ted would father a son named Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen who became known to the world as Jeff Bezos.
How Ted Jorgensen Got Separated from Jeff Bezos
It can be very painful for a father to not have any relationship with his son, more so if the son turns out to be Jeff Bezos. One might fault Ted for missing out on the experience of being a father to someone as influential and successful as Bezos, but it is possible that he was left with little to no potion. First, he was only a teenager when he had Jeff. Ted Jorgensen was 19 while Jacklyn Gise was two years younger than him. They married and had Jeff in early 1964. The following year, sometime in June 1965, Jacklyn filed for divorce and subsequently got married to Miguel “Mike” Bezos, a Cuban immigrant who is widely recognized as Jeff’s father.
From what he gathered, Jacklyn relocated from New Mexico to Houston with her new husband. Before this, she got Ted Jorgensen to approve the adoption of their child by Mike Bezos and to never contact them. Ted believed it was the best thing for Jeff and agreed to the adoption. With that, the four-year-old boy who would become one of the richest billionaires in the world legally changed his surname to Bezos.
Various reports have it that Ted tried to reconnect with his son at some point but couldn’t re-establish contact. He moved on with his life and began building another family with Linda to whom he was married for 27 years.
Ted Didn’t Know Jeff Bezos Was His Son Until 2012 and He Died in March 2015 Without Meeting The Billionaire
In 1974, Ted Jorgensen left Albuquerque for Glendale in Arizona where he owned and operated a bicycle shop called Road Bike Center. He knew nothing about the son he had in his teenage years until he was approached by Brad Stone, a reporter that wrote a book about the Amazon founder titled The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.
At this point, the Amazon founder was already popular and a billionaire estimated to be worth 18.4 billion. Yet, Ted had no idea he was his son until Stone visited his shop and showed him pictures of the billionaire. Late Ted was reportedly shocked as he admitted that he failed in his responsibilities as a father and a husband. He related that he had always wondered what happened to Jeff and had a number but didn’t want to call as his ex-wife wanted him to stay away.
Adding that Jeff was in diapers the last time he saw him, the man expressed that he’d love to meet his son; not to reintroduce himself as a father or gain anything from him but to shake his hand and have him acknowledge the bond they share. His wish never came to pass as Jeff Bezos didn’t meet with him; it is said that his mother prohibited it. However, Jeff wrote Ted a letter before he passed on the 16th of March 2015.
Meet The Man That Raised The Amazon Founder
The Amazon billionaire was raised by Mike Bezos whom his mother married in 1968 after her divorce from Ted Jorgensen in 1965. Mike, who is originally from Cuba, migrated to the United States alone when he was 16. For someone who spoke only Spanish when he came to America, Mike has come a long way. Raising one of the richest men in the world is surely his greatest accomplishment.
Mike and Jeff have a great relationship, such that one would expect of a father and his son. The billionaire thinks highly of his adoptive father and has appreciated him several times on his social media accounts.