Jeff Bezos briefly edges ahead of Bill Gates as world's richest person

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Amazon shares were up 1.7 percent at $1,070.72 and have risen some 24 percent over the past four months, adding some $17 billion to the net worth of the 53-year-old Bezos. That allowed him to steal the title from Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates by $500 million. Here are five lesser known facts about Bezos, the newly minted richest person in the world: He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico Bezos was born on January 12, 1964. Forbes said Gates would have been the undisputed leader had he not given billions of dollars away to various philanthropic causes. The specter of Amazon's disruption now hangs over a dizzying array of industries.

Bu while Amazon consistently posts blockbuster sales growth, its profit has often not kept pace due to thin retail margins and high investment to expand the company's already vast reach in the U.S. economy. Early on in the day they hit $1,074.68. He was Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 1999 At the height of the dotcom boom, Bezos was named 1999 Person of the Year with the sub headline "The fast-moving Internet economy has a jungle of competitors.and here's the king" He has owned The Washington Post since 2013 Bezos purchased The Post for $250 million after the newspaper was locally controlled for 80 years by the Graham family.

Amazon said it earned US$197m in the second quarter, down from US$857m a year ago.

But Amazon has always been known for investing back into its businesses.

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The changes in Bezos' fortune coincided with Amazon's report of a 77 percent slide in quarterly profit because of heavy spending.

Amazon forecast a similar state of affairs for its financial performance this quarter, with net sales expected to grow 20 percent to 28 percent compared with the same period past year but operating income coming in lower. On Wednesday, Amazon said it plans to hire thousands of warehouse workers on the spot at job fairs across the country.

Amazon's surprise announcement in June that it would buy Whole Foods, the purveyor of organics and healthy fare, for $13.7b is already rattling the grocery sector, and competitors' share prices dropped on the news.

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