After founding Amazon three decades ago, Jeff Bezos packs his bags for Miami

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NEW YORK (AP) — Jeff Bezos is leaving Seattle, where the billionaire founded Amazon out of a garage nearly three decades ago.

In a Thursday night Instagram post, the 59-year-old Bezos announced plans to return to Miami — where he spent his high school years — to be closer to his parents and his partner, Lauren Sánchez.

Bezos stepped down as the CEO of Amazon, still based in Seattle, almost three years ago and said in his social media post that operations for his rocket company, Blue Origin, are “increasingly shifting” to Cape Canaveral. Miami is about 200 miles south of Cape Canaveral.

“As exciting as the move is, it’s an emotional decision for me,” Bezos wrote Thursday, noting that he’s lived in Seattle longer than he’s lived anywhere else.

Seattle has been Bezos’ home since 1994, when he started Amazon out of his garage. Thursday’s Instagram post includes a brief video tour led by Bezos of Amazon’s first, humble office, with his father behind the camera.

“It doesn’t take long to tour the offices of Amazon-dot-com Inc,” a young Bezos says in the video, pointing to his desk, a fax machine, and a long orange extension cord that was needed to supply the room with additional power.

Bezos, one of the wealthiest people in the world today, has lavish properties in Miami, which has already attracted some other big names in tech over recent years. Last month, Bloomberg News reported that Bezos had purchased a mansion in South Florida’s “Billionaire Bunker” for $79 million, just two months after buying a neighboring estate for $68 million.

Both mansions are in Indian Creek, an exclusive man-made barrier island in Miami. Celebrity neighbors include Tom Brady, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.

Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon in early 2021, citing the desire to devote more time to philanthropy and other projects. But Bezos still has broad influence over Amazon as executive chair and the company’s biggest shareholder.

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