Blue Origin: The Entrepreneur as Philanthropist

  • Howard E. McCurdy
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology book series (PSHST)


Since the time of Robert Goddard, philanthropic contributors have supported the work of rocketeers. In the case of Blue Origin, founded by Jeff Bezos in 2000, the business owner became his own philanthropist. McCurdy explains how Bezos’ wealth allowed him to start Blue Origin without significant outside investment or much government help.

In a second section on perspective, McCurdy examines the manner in which government officials and other persons not primarily concerned with return on investment gauge the public value of a particular undertaking. McCurdy explains how individuals associated with space flight calculate opportunity costs, cost-effectiveness, willingness to pay and the potential for economic growth.


Jeff Bezos Blue Origin Entrepreneurial philanthropy Public value Cost-benefit analysis Opportunity costs 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howard E. McCurdy
    • 1
  1. 1.American UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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