Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has been named the official third-richest person in America as of Thursday, Oct. 22, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, clocking in at a $55 billion net worth (Forbes lists him at a $53 billion net worth as of Oct. 23)—all a sudden leap from his former position at No. 13.
But why the sudden jump in rank? It's as easy to understand as it is astounding: a $5 billion groundswell that took place the same day it became official.
Bezo's sudden prominence on Bloomberg's billionaire list is due to the 77 percent leap in profits due to Amazon's virtual private cloud, i.e., a cloud computing service, and the investors who took to it. Subsequently, the vehement upswing marked a $22 billion increase—more than anyone on the Index has had to date.
So who are Bezos' immediate cohorts in his top-tier bracket? The entrepreneur beat out brothers (and industrialists) Charles and David Koch, with only a small margin between Bezos and the top two A-listers, Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Bezos' profile on the Billionaire's Index (which is as of now not updated to reflect his newly inaugurated status) does have some strange stats on Amazon's CEO, namely under the section labeled "Intelligence." According to Bloomberg, Bezos (born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen) once "rescued Apollo 11's rocket engines from the ocean floor" and "castrated cattle while working at his grandparents' ranch in Texas." If the latter can make one a billionaire, then it looks like the word is out.
Photo: Steve Jurvetson | Flickr