Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of, joined cyclist Lance Armstrong, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and filmmaker Steven Spielberg on the 2008 list of America’s Best Leaders. The list was released in November by U.S. News Media Group and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School.

Bezos was chosen for his pioneering efforts to utilize the Internet as a new type of retail marketplace. He founded as an online book store in 1994 and has built it into the largest retailer on the Web.

“Amazon consistently succeeds with risky new ventures,” wrote U.S. News and World Report, “which Bezos credits to tenacity and an obsession with customer needs.”

The Best Leaders list recognized twenty-four selected professionals representing a range of fields and missions, who illustrated creativity and perseverance as dynamic leaders addressing current pressing needs in this country. A key criteria for earning inclusion on the list is “the ability to set direction, achieve results, and cultivate a culture of growth.”

Bezos holds a B.S.E. in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton.

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