Look, everyone pretty much gets married with the best of intentions, but the truth is at least half of marriages end up in divorce. Can you imagine, however, not only having a long-lasting, loving union for nearly two and a half decades, but also becoming the wealthiest couple in the world along the way? That's what happened to MacKenzie Tuttle and Jeff Bezos when they decided to get married in 1993 after knowing each other for just six months. Let's take a look at what their marriage is like.
MacKenzie and Jeff met at the Wall Street Investment management firm D.E. Shaw. Jeff had graduated from Princeton in 1986 and was working in the computer science field. By the time San Francisco native MacKenzie Tuttle walked through the doors of D.E. Shaw, Jeff was a VP at the firm. It was 1992 and MacKenzie had just graduated from Princeton, herself. Jeff was the first person to interview her. He had the advantage of seeing her resume before he met her, so he knew how smart she was. She was hired and became a research associate.
MacKenzie and Bezos had offices near each other. She could hear him laughing all day long and once told Vogue that she fell in love with her laugh. MacKenzie made the first move and asked Jeff out. They went to lunch. Three months later they were engaged and six months after their first date they were married.
After they were married, Jeff told his wife about his idea for Amazon. MacKenzie could hear the passion in his voice when he talked about it. Within a year the couple had quit their jobs, packed their bags, and set out on that fateful 1994 cross country trip to Seattle during which Jeff wrote the business plan for Amazon. How could the young couple have known that Amazon would go on to become one of the most valuable companies in the world? Some analysts thing that Amazon will become the world's first trillion dollar company.
MacKenzie found that watching her husband set out on this adventure to found his own company was deeply satisfying. She became one of Amazon's earliest employees when she took a job as an accountant.
The initial start up money for Amazon came mostly from Bezos' parents. They invested a large amount of their life savings in their son's startup. They put their trust in Jeff, even though when he approached them his father said: "What's the Internet?" Jeff was worried as he felt like there was a 70% chance they would lose their entire life savings, which was a few hundred thousand dollars.
Amazon went public in 1997 to gain additional funding to fuel its growth. Jeff and MacKenzie were wealthy by then, but they continued to live in their one bedroom rental house in Seattle until 1999. Today, the couple has five homes in Seattle, Beverly Hills, Texas, Washington D.C., and New York City.
Jeff and MacKenzie went on to have four children and raised them in a remarkably normal environment. They eat breakfast as a family. Jeff never schedules early morning meetings in order to have this time with his family. Until 2013, MacKenzie drove their kids to school and Jeff to work in the family Honda.
These days, MacKenzie has turned back to her college love of writing. She was an assistant to author Toni Morrison while she was at Princeton. Now, MacKenzie is a novelist in her own right. She has a small apartment that she goes to to write until it is time to go pick up the kids from school.
MacKenzie has attributed the success of her marriage to the contrasting personalities that she and Jeff have. For instance, Jeff is more social than MacKenzie, so he makes parties easier for her to navigate.
But it might be one simple household chore that shows what a good husband Jeff Bezos is. He does the dishes every night.