|Tags: Amazon.com, Guggenheim Gallery, Jeffrey Preston Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Peggy Guggenheim, The Guggenheim Museum
An American Internet entrepreneur and founder of Amazon.com, Jeffrey Preston Bezos, was born in Albuquerque, NM. His family had moved to Miami where he went to High School and discovered his love for computers. Jeff attended Princeton University, graduating with degrees in computer science and electrical engineering.
Bezos move to New York came when he joined FITEL, a company building a network that would conduct international trade. Within two years, he was leading in the development of Bankers Trust Company’s computer systems and became their youngest vice-president in 1990. Bezos quickly perceived that internet usage was skyrocketing as a new area for commerce. He realized that no mail order catalogue existed for books. Attending the American Booksellers’ Convention, Jeff learned all he could about the business. He concluded that he needed a place on the Internet where people could find available books and order them directly.
He opened Amazon.com in July, 1995 and within the first month—with no advertising—had sold books in all 50 states and 45 foreign countries. By September of that year sales had reached $20,000 a week. Bezos’ team improved the site, adding one-click shopping, email verification of orders, and customer reviews. The site later added videos, toys, electronics, clothes and more. Amazon.com works out of Seattle, WA, was conceived in New York and is now worth billions of dollars.
Among the world richest men is Michael Bloomberg. He is known internationally as head of Bloomberg Media Company and locally as New York’s mayor from 2001, succeeding Rudi Giuliani. Bloomberg was born in Medford, MA, attended Johns Hopkins University where he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He added a master’s degree in Business Administration at Harvard.
Bloomberg’s business career began at Salomon Brothers and soon became a partner supervising all their stock trading, sales and information systems. A merger led to the loss of his position. However, he took his $10 million severance pay to start a financial data and communications company which sold financial information terminals to various Wall Street firms.
Today, Bloomberg Media boasts over 165,000 subscribers worldwide. The company branched out into a news service in 1990 adding radio, television, and internet to its publishing operations. Bloomberg provides information on financial markets, information services combining data, news and analysis of global financial businesses and markets. The company showed strong growth allowing Bloomberg to turn to philanthropy, improving education, medical research and the arts.
Peggy Guggenheim was highly influential in promoting avant-garde and bohemian artists during the mid-1900s. Her collection of artworks has historically promoted modern art. She was born in New York City in 1898. Her parents died in 1912 on the sinking of the Titanic. She was raised among the wealthy society of the city. Guggenheim decided to support the war effort during WW I rather than attending college. She later worked as a clerk in a bookstore where she was surrounded by bohemian artists and talented writers of the era. Her interests centered on the arts rather than high society in spite of the fortune she inherited when she turned 21.
Peggy Guggenheim befriended many avant-garde artists and writers when she lived for a time in Paris. To promote their art, she opened a gallery in London in 1938. With the outbreak of WW II, she bought as much abstract art as she could for her gallery. When these artists weren’t selling, she switched to preserving the art she had acquired rather than trying to sell it. She purchased many paintings by Dali, Chagall and Picasso before she returned to New York in 1941.
The gallery Guggenheim established in New York became highly influential in popularizing the works of Jackson Pollock, Max Ernst, Verdun Howell and others. She closed the gallery and moved to Venice in 1946. Collecting art continued throughout her life. She would lend her pieces to museums and other venues both in Europe and America in order to share her love for these artists. Much of her collection promoted American modern artists. She lived in Europe until her death in 1979.