Jeff Bezos was moved to tears as he paid tribute to his father.
The Amazon founder grew emotional as he reflected on Miguel Bezos’ “tough” experiences as a Cuban immigrant in America on stage at the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Awards.
The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation shared a video of Jeff at the ceremony, who said in the clip: “Every immigrant who has come to this country, they all have their own unique stories. Fighting for a better life, hardships but they also end up having a belief in America.
“They think this place creates opportunity and it does.
“That’s certainly the story of my dad. He came from Santiago, Cuba. He was 16. He spoke no English, he had to make his way. He had those tough experiences. I think in every immigrant you’ll find a deep optimism and a deep resilience too.
“My dad is an intense hard worker. My dad is warm and he teaches an easy smile.”
Jeff then teared up as he said he and his siblings could “not have had a better role model.”
Miguel then came on stage and hugged and kissed his son, before the Foundation honoured him with the 2022 Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Award.
The organisation wrote on Instagram: “We celebrated Miguel’s incredible life story and his passion for education.”
Miguel and his wife Jackie co-founded the Bezos Family Foundation – which promotes education and positive learning environments for children throughout the US – in 2000.
In 2019, Miguel told of how his parents sent him to America to find a better life.
He said: “My parents were not allowed to go into the airport with me, so they dropped me off. I got on an airplane and landed in Miami 45 minutes later.”
After a stint in a Florida refugee camp, he moved to Wilmington, Delaware to attend high school.
He added: “You do learn the language very quickly when you’re immersed in it.
“You can see my grades improving semester by semester. All of that is due to being able to speak and understand the language.”
Jeff also told of how proud he is of his dad.
He said: “He had an enormous amount of grit and determination, but he also had incredibly kind and supportive people to help guide him along the way.
“My dad’s story really shows that people help each other.”