Jeff Bezos gets teary remembering how his father fled from Cuba to the US at 16 in speech praising immigrants
Jeff Bezos' father was 16 when he fled Cuba to the United States after Fidel Castro took power. Last week, a tearful Bezos recalled this challenging report at the Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Awards.
"I think in every immigrant you find a deep optimism and also a deep resilience," said the billionaire Amazon founder.
He also described how immigrants come to the United States because they believe in the possibilities for their lives and families.
“Every immigrant who has come to this country has their own unique story. The fight for a better life, difficulties, but in the end they also believe in America," Bezos said.
He then broke down in tears, adding that he and his siblings "couldn't have had a better role model."
Who is Miguel Bezos?
Miguel Bezos, also known as Mike, is the father of the founder of Amazon.com. In the early 1960s, when he was just 16, he arrived in Miami from Cuba as an unaccompanied minor who spoke no English. He was then transferred to Wilmington, Delaware, where he was housed and educated in a Catholic school.
“There was a priest in charge of us and it was a tremendous experience for me. I'm sure you've heard sad stories about the horrible experiences some of the Peter Pan kids had, but for us in Wilmington, we both had different ones, and we became very close," Miguel said in a 2016 interview published on published on the Smithsonian National Museum website.
He then attended the University of Albuquerque in New Mexico and worked for ExxonMobil for more than 32 years in engineering and leadership positions.
In 2000, he co-founded the Bezos Family Foundation with his wife Jackie and their children. The foundation is committed to the education of children.
That year Mike was honored at the Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Awards where his son Jeff gave a moving speech.
According to the foundation's Instagram post, he was honored for his life story and passion for education.
At the end of his speech, Jeff said he was proud of his father and that his story "really shows people helping each other."
This isn't the first time Jeff Bezos has publicly admired his stepfather. Back in 2018, he wrote an acknowledgment post for him on Twitter.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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