66. Jeff Bezos: Amazon.com Creator

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The way people shop today is different from the way they shopped 20 years ago thanks to Jeffrey "Jeff" Bezos. Before e-commerce became a commonplace occurrence in the United States, Americans shopped the traditional way, which meant going out of their homes, getting in their cars, and visiting retail outlets in search of their goods. Bezos had a better way, though. The Princeton-educated business magnate and entrepreneur played a large role in developing online commerce as it is known today.

Bezos founded Amazon.com as a way to sell books. He sold novels, how-to books, and textbooks through Amazon, but that was just the beginning. He branched out to other retail products. Today Amazon is one of the largest online retailers in the world.

Born on January 12, 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bezos demonstrated mechanical proficiency at an early age. He attended high school in two states, Texas and Florida, and was class valedictorian. At Princeton, he studied computer science, winning several awards, and participating in several extracurricular activities.

He moved to Seattle, Washington in 1994 to start his new company, Amazon.com. He chose the state of Washington because of its small population. The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that online sales were required to pay sales tax in the state of operation. He moved to Washington because fewer of his customers would have to pay the sales taxes.

Today, Amazon.com is the largest e-commerce retailer in the world with locations in several countries, including the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, and India. It has plans to expand to more countries, including Sri Lanka, Poland, and The Netherlands.

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