Nightly News   |  August 06, 2013

Bold CEO Jeff Bezos revels in risk

What has continued to make Amazon founder Jeff Bezos stand out is his willingness to try new things. NBC's Anne Thompson reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> our final story tonight as promised is about a dot com billionaire, one of the richest men in american who forever changed the way we shop. now getting attention for a huge purchase of his own. buying the washington post for $250 million in cash. and that kind of buying power has people talking about the man behind this big buy . we get more on him now from nbc's anne thompson .

>> reporter: jeff has been laughing all the way to the bank. infectiously upbeat. his net worth today is a dizzying $28 billion according to "forbes" magazine. the $135 billion behemoth of online retailers , by 2000 , when i talked to him, wall street considered him toast for not turning a profit.

>> i want lots of happy customers.

>> reporter: a year later he had plenty of those and a profit.

>> we're in this for the long term and we're going to take great care of our customers.

>> reporter: audacious and patient in business. the same is true on how he spent his private fortune. he's a space geek, investing an untold some to raise from the ocean floor , one of the rocket engines that took neil armstrong and others to the moon.

>> i think he is very much the visible tech ceo of the moment, the person who's going to be making the boldest moves that people are paying attention to.

>> reporter: they have to. he's changed how we shop and how we read with the kindle. type in his name and you get 532 results, the first, the secrets of his success, written for the kindle. what continues to make bezos stand out is his willingness to reach for the stars .

>> if i try this and fail, i'm not going to regret that. and if i never try it, i'm always going to be haunted by having not given it a try.

>> reporter: reveling in risks. every step of the way. anne thompson , nbc news, new york.