Bezos was born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to a teenage mother, Jacklyn Gise Jorgensen, and father Ted Jorgensen, a bike shop owner and Chicago native. At the time of her son's birth, Jacklyn was a seventeen-year-old high school student. After Jacklyn divorced Ted, she married Miguel "Mike" Bezos, a Cuban immigrant, in April 1968. Shortly after the wedding, Mike Bezos adopted four-year-old Jorgensen, whose surname was then changed to Bezos. The family moved to Houston, where Mike worked as an engineer for Exxon after he received a degree from the University of New Mexico.
Bezos was the maternal grandson of Lawrence Preston Gise, a regional director of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in Albuquerque. Gise retired early to his family's ranch near Cotulla, Texas, where Bezos would spend many summers in his youth. Bezos would later purchase this ranch, and grow it from 25,000 acres (101 km2 or 39 miles2) to 300,000 acres (1,214 km2 or 468 miles2). His maternal grandmother was Mattie Louise Gise (née Strait), through whom he is a cousin of country singer George Strait.