What was Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos really like as a young boy? As part of a Mother’s Day program called “Mother’s of Invention,” Jeff Bezos’ mom, Jackie, recalls the early creative and innovative spirit that she encountered in her son.
“With Jeff, I think I was amazed when he was two-and–a-half and riding one of those boat events in a kiddie playground that just goes round and round in circles. I thought: I stopped existing. All he wanted to do was watch the cables and the pulley and look down into the water trying to figure out what happened next. So, I was kind of disappointed, actually. Because, I wanted, the reinforcement of: ‘Yeah, there’s my mom.’ I think I knew early on that he was wired a little bit differently. And, then, when he tried to take his crib apart with a screwdriver, I think that cinched it.”
Later in the program, Jackie Bezos tells the story of how Jeff was placed in charge of defense on the football field because he had memorized all of plays.
“I think talent exhibits itself. But being able to participate fully in the world is really important, and that requires going into areas that you are not that comfortable with. I think we did that. The other thing we did was listen. I didn’t always understand. In fact, a lot of times I had know idea what he was talking about.”
That’s just one of the funny anecdotes in the program, hosted by John Hockenberry and featuring the mom’s of three other innovators, including Segway creator Dean Kamen, musician will.i.am and educator Salman Khan. It’s especially touching to hear will.i.am thank his mom on stage.
You can listen to the full program, which runs about 10 minutes, here:
Now, go call your moms!