Billionaire Jeff Bezos will be blasted into space today, July 20, in the first flight of his rocket ship New Shephard.
New Shephard is built by the Amazon founder's company Blue Origin, which was built with the vision of sending tourists to space.
Bezos stepped down as Amazon's CEO earlier in the month, ending a 27-year run, which saw the company became one of the most valuable public companies in the world.
Bezos first appeared in The Forbes 400 list list of richest Americans in 1998, with a net worth of $1.6 billion.
Now he is the richest person on Earth. Here we take a closer look at his current net worth.
Jeff Bezos net worth
Jeff Bezos is worth an estimated $203billion (£176.2billion) as of July 20, according to Forbes.
He comes in ahead of SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who boasts a net worth of $160billion (£117billion).
While Tesla stock has declined this year, Amazon's shares have continued to soar.
Bezos first became a billionaire in 1998, the year after Amazon went public as an online bookseller.
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At that time Amazon expanded from books, allowing customers to buy CDs online too.
Amazon began expanding into other industries over the next two decades, launching its Prime membership service in 2005.
This allows customers who pay an annual fee to get free two-day or next day delivery.
Amazon also created its cloud computing unit Amazon Web Services in 2006, which is now its most profitable arm.
In 2018 Bezos became the wealthiest person in the world when his net worth doubled from $81.5billion in October 2017 to $160billion the next year, due to Amazon's rising stock price.
He has stayed near the top ever since, and despite challenges, the coronavirus pandemic has pushed Amazon's shares to new heights.
Since 2019, the founder's net worth has increased with an eye-watering 73%, despite the fact that he had to give a quarter of his stocks int he company to ex-wife MacKenzie Scott when they divorced.
Now Bezos has stepped down as CEO, but he will stay on as executive chairman and is still the company's biggest shareholder (10%, according to Forbes).
Bezos won't be as heavily involved in the company as before, and will instead continue to focus on other interests – such as his space company Blue Origin.
According to House Beautiful, Bezos owns at least six houses that are collectively worth around $84million (almost £65million).
This includes a huge 30,000-acre ranch in Van Horn, Texas, in the state where Bezos was raised.
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