Jeff Bezos wasn't alone when he made his cross-county road trip to Seattle in 1994. And he wasn't alone when he founded Amazon, now an online retail giant some analysts believe will be the world's first trillion-dollar company.
His wife MacKenzie was there for the whole journey.
In an interview with CBS, she described watching her husband build Amazon up from scratch: "To me watching your spouse, somebody that you love, have an adventure, what is better than that?"
Inside the marriage of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos
Inside the marriage of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos
MacKenzie and Jeff first met at investment management firm D.E. Shaw. MacKenzie was a research associate and Jeff was a vice president. Jeff was the first person to interview MacKenzie — a fellow Princeton grad — at the firm.
"Nobody knows what you mean when you say, 'I'm looking for a resourceful woman,'" he told Wired. "If I tell somebody I’m looking for a woman who can get me out of a Third World prison, they start thinking Ross Perot — they have something they can hang their hat on!"
Then, Jeff told his wife about his business idea. MacKenzie said that, while she's not a "business person," she could hear the passion in her husband's voice when he spoke. The following year, in 1994, they quit their jobs and traveled to Seattle to found Amazon.
Until around 1999, the couple lived in a one-bedroom rental house in Seattle, according to Wired. Today, they own five houses across the US, in Medina, Washington, Beverly Hills, Van Horn, Texas, DC, and Manhattan. Jeff is the 25th largest landowner in the US, according to Business Insider.
But, until 2013, MacKenzie still drove their four kids to school and then dropped Jeff off at work in their Honda. Family friend Danny Hillis told Vogue that the Bezos' "are such a normal, close-knit family, it's almost abnormal."
The family also adheres to a fairly normal routine. The Bezos family reportedly starts off the day with a healthy breakfast. To spend more time with the family, Jeff never schedules early-morning meetings at Amazon.
When it comes to educating their four kids, MacKenzie told Vogue the couple has tried a range of strategies, including, "off-season travel, kitchen-science experiments, chicken incubation, Mandarin lessons, the Singapore math program, and lots of clubs and sports with other neighborhood kids."
MacKenzie — who was an assistant to Toni Morrison in college — is now a novelist. When she needs to write, Bezos retreats to her own small apartment, where she writes until it's time to pick the kids up from school. MacKenzie told Vogue her husband is her "best reader."
He'd often drop other plans to read and carefully review manuscripts of her first novel "The Testing of Luther Albright." For MacKenzie's second novel, "Traps," she decided to not share her work with her husband until was finished.
MacKenzie told Vogue that their contrasting personalities complement each other. "He likes to meet people. He's a very social guy. Cocktail parties for me can be nerve-racking. The brevity of conversations, the number of them — it's not my sweet spot," she said.
They're so in tune that Jeff will often buy clothes for MacKenzie on the fly, he told Vogue. "Sometimes I call her and say, 'What’s your such-and-such size?' and she says, 'Why?' and I say, 'None of your business!' It delights her."
And the Amazon CEO has said he wraps up the day with a chore that his wife appreciates: washing the dishes. "I'm pretty convinced it's the sexiest thing I do," he told Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget.
Susan's grandfather once ran a campaign for Republican United States Representative Howard Buffett, Warren's grandfather. It apparently didn't go well. Their daughter, Susie Buffett, told Business Insider that it was "the only time my grandpa Buffett lost."
Buffett formed a friendship with her father Bill, a professor and mandolin player who knew his parents. They would jam out together in the Thompson residence, giving Buffett the opportunity to call on Susan.
The couple had three children together. Susie, the eldest, is a philanthropist. Howard, the middle child, is a businessman and politician who was recently sworn in as sheriff of Macon County, Illinois. Peter, the youngest, is a musician.
After Berkshire Hathaway bought a stake in The Washington Post, publisher Katherine Graham and Buffett struck up a flirtatious relationship — which included jaunts to Martha's Vineyard and Graham throwing her keys to the investor during parties. Susan was reportedly furious and began an affair with a tennis instructor.
"It was definitely 95% my fault ... I just wasn't attuned enough to her, and she'd always been perfectly attuned to me," he said, according to the New York Daily News. "She kept me together for a lot of years ... It shouldn't have happened."
Then, the following year, Susan introduced her husband to restaurant hostess and Latvian immigrant Astrid Menks. They had become friends when Susan began singing at the restaurant. Astrid quickly moved in and became Buffett's companion.
The three remained close and essentially functioned as a trio. "Astrid and my mother were very close — really loved each other," Susie Buffett told The New York Times. According to Time, Buffett would often say, "Susie put me together and Astrid keeps me together."
According to his daughter Susie, Buffett had been thinking about marrying Astrid for some time after his first wife's death. "He's been talking about this for a while," she told The New York Times. "It's something he wanted to do."