Spoiled Children of Divorce

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Jeff Bezos

Another member of Time Magazine’s list of exceptional people: Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com fame.

Bezos was born as Jeffrey Preston Jorgenson on January 12,1964 in Albuquerque, NM. His Mother was sixteen. Both parents were still in High School and eloped to Mexico in order to get married when his Mother became pregnant. His Father owned a bike shop and maybe had a problem with alcohol. Mom filed for divorce in June 1965 and the divorce was final when Bezos was 17 months old (depending on which source you read. Also look at USAToday article). According to the USAToday article Bezos’ Father dropped out of his life soon after Bezos’ Mother remarried. His Father relinquished parenthood so Bezos’ stepfather could adopt him. Bezos took on his step-/adopted Father’s last name. His bio Father didn’t even know who Bezos was until 2012. He still owns Bike Shops.

His Step-Father/Adopted Father, Miguel “Mike” Bezos, is an immigrant from Cuba. He worked as an Engineer for Exxon. Jeff would spend some of his summers on his grandfather’s ranch in Texas.

Bezos has a younger brother, Mark. He was educated in Montessori schools.

Bezos entered Princeton early when he got a degree in something technical. (sorry, too lazy to look it up). He married a colleague in 1993 at age 29. The couple have 3 boys and a daughter who was adopted from China.

Amazon.com was started in 1994 and funded by parents. Bezos is now considered the Richest Man in the World.

Interesting coincidences with Elon Musk. Bezos is working on a spaceflight business in Texas called Blue Origin. He has loved spaceflight since he was 5. I think I read he is an avid StarWars fan. Like Musk he is known to have some emotional problems which the employees call going “Nutters.”

Bezos is a not known as a great employer. Amazon has one of the highest turn around rates of large companies.

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Elon Musk

The numbers of Children of Divorce who are included on Time Magazine’s 100 People of the Year Lists has gone up. I forgot the exact count, maybe 11 to 13. Plus about 5 more people who grew up in a single parent family where the parents never married. I couldn’t find out information on about 20 of the people on the list so I’m not taking these numbers too seriously. What I’m really happy about is the quality of the Children of Divorce on this list because many included are probably not really very impressive leaders in my opinion.

Elon Musk is one of the super impressive ones. Musk is a visionary who takes big risks like creating car company Tesla and turning space travel into a tourist industry. He must have watched a lot of “The Jetsons” when he was a kid. Actually I think he was busy doing other stuff. According to Wikipedia Musk read a lot. Became interested in computing at at 10. That’s just a year after his parents’ divorce so maybe have a lot of time to himself contributed to this. Must taught himself programming at Age 12.

According to this article from BusinessInsider, Musk describes his childhood as “excruciating.” He grew up in South Africa. His Mother was a Model from Canada and his Father was an Electromechanical engineer. His parents divorced in 1980 so Musk would have been around 9 at that time. After two years he lived exclusively with his Father. He says that this was a mistake and that his Father was emotionally abusive. They are currently estranged. According to People Magazine Musk’s Father had a child with his step-daughter who is, of course, his step-daughter, but is also 40 years younger. His Father calls Elon a spoiled child…..ah, hahahahahahahahahaha. How appropriate for a Child of Divorce. What a lovely man, and how many of these idiots are out there?

Musk’s Mother is the covergirl of a company. She talks about how she created the entrepreneurial spirit in her children in this Businessinsider article.

Musk is the oldest of 3 children in his first family, a brother and sister. He also has a half-brother and half-sister.

Musk was also deeply affected by bullying at school. During one episode he had to be hospitalized. He was knocked unconscious when some boys threw him down a concrete stairwell.

The Month that Musk turned 18 he got out of dodge and moved to Canada where he was able to get a passport because his Mother was Canadian. He finished two Bachelors degrees in Physics and Economics and then moved to California to get a Ph.d at Stanford. But dropped out after 2 days in order to start businesses. He partnered with his brother for his first business (funded at least in part by hs Mother) and has since started a series of successful companies such as PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, the space rocket company.

According to Wikipedia Musk has been married and divorced three times, but the last two were to the same woman. He had 6 children with his first wife, but the first baby died of SIDs after 10 weeks.

According to this article in SiliconBeat someone got onto Musk’s Twitter account and asked him if he is Bipolar so he may have some issues. Musk answered “yeah” but qualifies that as not clinical.

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Natasha Trethewey

Pulitzer Prizewinning Poetess Natasha Trethewey is a Child of Divorce.  I heard her interviewed on the NPR Program Fresh Air yesterday.

I was first attracted to the interview because I couldn’t believe what amazingly long sentences Trethewey can spin.  She can assemble more thoughts into a single sentence in a way that still makes sense than anyone I’ve ever heard.  So it made sense that she’s a poet. Her personal story is even more amazing.

Trethewey won the Pulitzer for her collection of poems called Native Guard.  Some of these poems are about her Mother who was murdered by her Step-Father when Trethewey was 19 years old.  Trethewey’s younger brother witnessed the murder when he was 11 (or 12) years old.  (Sorry I was listening while driving in the car and I can’t remember the details really well).

Trethewey was born in Mississippi. Her parents divorced at some point before Trethewey started grade school.  She lived with her Mother in Georgia and spent Summers in New Orleans with her Father and with her Grandmother in  Mississippi.

Her new book is about how her family was affected by Hurricane Katrina.  Her Brother was destroyed financially and, out of desperation, turned to dealing drugs.   It turns out that he was arrested for possession of Cocaine the same day that Trethewey was awarded the Pulitzer.  Have to sit down with this astrology chart at some point in the future when I can be very very quiet…  This date will be interesting to look at from an astrological point of view as it was 10 days before Trethewey’s 41st Birthday.  By coincidence, Trethewey’s Mother was killed 10 days before her (the Mother’s) 41st Birthday as well.  It’s amazing to hear a very articulate poet discuss the complicated and confusing feelings and methods of coping with this amount of tragedy.  I sure would like to hear her ideas, if any, about her parents’ divorce.  I’m a little slow at reading poetry but I’ll be looking for both books.  The new book is called Beyond Katrina.

Trethewey is bi-racial.  Her Mother was an African American Social Worker and her Father is a White College Professor.  Her Step-Father (don’t know race, etc) was a Vietnam Veteran and worked for an Air Conditioning and Heating Company.  The story about what Trethewey’s brother had to go through is unbelievable.  As I said he was 11 or 12 years old at the time of the murder.  His parents had already divorced and I don’t know what age he was at that point.

Good Advice

Was stunned to actually read a column in this morning’s newspaper concerning divorce.  A guy writes an advice column called “Male Call.” Today’s article is titled “Beware if he’s just not that into your kid.”  The answer is right on and it’s even humorous.  A woman, turning 30 and obviously desperate, writes in that she’s in a relationship with a guy who really wants kids, but when she watches him with her son from a previous marriage she observes that they don’t seem to get along.  “Male Call” warns her about how if she marries this guy and has kids that her kids will live in the “two tiered” household where the son from the previous relationship will always feel left out.  “Say you do choose to procreate with this fellow.  Will it end up being a two-tiered family?  As in, your child is merely tolerated, but the new ones are the ‘real’ family?  That’s an excellent recipe for ‘acting out’ on the part of your child, also known as ‘Cage Match With Step-dad’ after he/she reaches puberty.

It’s interesting how the sexes understand different parts of parenting.  To hand it to this mother, she is asking.  A Father would never ask for the advice in the first place.  He would just marry a woman and figure that she and the kids can sort it out on their own.  You notice that step-mothers never mention anything about their husbands as being part of the problem.  Everything is blamed on the kid and the ex-wife.  (That’s because of money, of course).  But concerning the advice for understanding the actual problem I think I might recommend deferring to the guys.  They aren’t afraid to look into the future and see an unsolvable problem.

From the last paragraph in this column is:  “So we’re not really sure there is a way to ‘ease the transition’ for the boyfriend.  He either gets along with your kid, or he doesn’t.  And if he doesn’t maybe you should give this a little more time before deciding to have another child.”  How nice to be asking this question before taking more big leaps in the relationship.  How nice to wait and see and give it more time.

Of course, with women, I think there is an added power control issue within a relationship.  If she rushes in and adds a child of her own to the mix then she has a lot more control in all the relationships.

I remember going to a sort of Lilith fest for writers in the San Francisco Bay area one year.  Not that I’m a writer but at that point I really wanted to be.  The key speaker was a remarkably witty, funny person and she made a point out of pointing out that her half brother or sister (can’t remember which) simply never got over her Mother being in their lives.  She, of course, was the Golden Girl who grew up with her own Mother and her own Father and her own House. And these others were just visitors who made everyone grumpy.  And, as an adult, still, she is still defensive about how must easier she had it than her siblings with that good old “Oh come on, can’t we just get along?”

Kind of funny how a writer who writes mostly about family issues just doesn’t want to discuss a problem that anyone else in her family is having.

Anyway, Mr. Male Call, hope you aren’t offended that I’ve linked to you from my hostile blog about the unsolved problems of the world.  I hope you get syndicated.  Thanks for the humor, too.  I strongly urge everyone entering into a step- situation to take martial arts classes too.

Exemplary Children of Divorce – Bjork
April 8, 2010, 11:51 pm
Filed under: creativity, Exemplary Children of Divorce, Half-siblings

Singer from Iceland, Bjork, is a Child of Divorce.  Her parents split before she was two years old.  Bjork’s parents were heavily involved in politics when she was growing up.  Her Father is a well known Union Leader and Electrician and her Mother is also an activist, homeopath and Martial Arts Teacher. Bjork lived with her Mother in a “hippie community” after the divorce.  At some point her Mother remarried. Bjork’s Step-Father played in a Rock Band.

Bjork has 3 half-brothers and 3 half-sisters.  She has written two songs about her siblings so her siblings have been her “Muses”.  The first asks for self sufficiency: “Army of Me” and the other talks about money: “Where is the line?”  (Bjork is a triple Scorpio which is very concerned with both self sufficiency and shared assets so this is actually pretty interesting on an Astrological theme).

Bjork started playing classical piano when she was around 5 (not sure about that age).  She released her first album when she was 11 or 12 years old.  A teacher recorded her and sent the song in to a music station who broadcast it nationally.  Bjork has since been in several bands, the Sugarcubes probably the most famous.  She has received many awards and is considered one of the finest voices in music today.

Bjork married and divorced a fellow member of her band, the Sugar Cubes.  She has a son from a previous relationship with a band member.  She also has a daughter with her current husband.