Mike Bezos escaped socialist Cuba to America when he was only 16 years old. He came without his parents and all by himself with nothing but a coat his mother made for him. Now his son, Jeff Bezos, is one of the richest men in the world.
It is an inspiring story that has repeated itself (except for the billions) countless times in the Cuban exile community.
My dad’s journey to the U.S. shows how people come together to help each other. We got a chance to celebrate him last night for the opening of the Statue of Liberty’s new museum. This is his story. https://t.co/VdOtlPY953 pic.twitter.com/E4C1KPho2u
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 16, 2019
Today, Mike Bezos is the father of the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos. But in 1962, Mike Bezos came to America from Cuba wearing a jacket his mother had hand-stitched from cleaning rags. He was a teenager traveling by himself and he spoke almost no English.
“When he came here from Cuba at 16, not only was he all alone, but he only spoke Spanish. His grit, determination, and optimism are inspiring,” Bezos tweeted about his father Wednesday.
Mike Bezos was joined by his son Wednesday night at a gala recognize the new Statue of Liberty Museum at Ellis Island in New York City — stars from Jeff Bezos to Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton were in attendance. The Bezos Family was one of the donors to the museum, which officially opened Thursday.
Though Mike Bezos is not Jeff’s biological father, he raised him. Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen was born to 17-year-old high school student Jacklyn Gise on Jan. 12, 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Though his biological parents married, Jeff’s biological father did not stay in the picture long. Gise divorced Jorgensen in 1965, and in 1968 married Mike Bezos.
“My parents were not allowed to go into the airport with me, so they dropped me off,” says Mike Bezos in the video, a more complete version of which is available on Amazon. “I got on an airplane and landed in Miami 45 minutes later.”
Mike Bezos says he could only bring with him three pairs of pants, three shirts, three pairs of underwear and one pair of shoes.
And then there was his coat.
“His mom imagined America must be super cold. So she made him something special for his journey, which we still have,” Jeff Bezos says in the video.
“Out of those cleaning rags and knitting materials, she made — with the help of my sister — she made a coat,” says Mike. “In her mind, I needed a heavy coat.”
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