Jeff Bezos, soon to hold the controlling interest in the Washington Post, did not grow up with the desire to be a newsman. He didn’t even have a paper route.
Neither did he know that he wanted to become a retailer—he would make that decision much later based on a very different calculus. What he most wanted to be when he was a kid, he has said, was an archaeologist. That was inspired by the summers he spent on his maternal grandfather’s ranch from the age of about four to sixteen. The Lazy Z, a sprawling, 25,000-acre spread in southwest Texas, was an idyllic setting to Jeff. On the ranch, “Pops” Gise taught him to castrate cattle, install plumbing, and even repair a dilapidated D6 Caterpillar bulldozer with a stripped transmission.
This experience taught him to be an…
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