What Jeff Bezos’s Time Castrating Cattle Tells Us About the Future of News


Ideas

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.

(MORE: Jeff Bezos posts letter to Washington Post employees)

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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