Amazon.com founder Jeffrey Bezos, who purchased The Washington Post last year, suffered a kidney stone attack while vacationing in the Galapagos Islands over the New Year’s Day holiday and was flown back to the United States for treatment.
“Galapagos: five stars. Kidney stones: zero stars,” Bezos said through a spokesman.
An Ecuadoran navy captain in the Galapagos, Daniel Ginez Villacis, said in a statement carried by Ecuadoran news media that an HN-407 navy helicopter flew Bezos from Academy Bay on the island of Santa Cruz to the neighboring island of Baltra, where he had his private jet.
The statement said Bezos had suffered a kidney stone attack and was evacuated at 3 p.m. on New Year’s Day. He then was flown to the United States for medical treatment.
Ecuadoran news media reports, first distributed by CNBC, said Bezos had been vacationing on a boat in the Galapagos when his kidney trouble began.
Claudia Testa, the front desk manager at the Royal Palm hotel in Puerto Ayora, a town on Academy Bay, said she had been told that Bezos was taken to a local hospital before being flown out.
Bezos, 49, took over as the owner of The Washington Post in October, ending 80 years of local control of the newspaper by the Graham family.
Bezos, who founded the online shopping company Amazon.com in 1994 and became a billionaire in the process, paid $250 million to purchase the newspaper and other assets from The Washington Post Co. The newspaper is now part of Nash Holdings, Bezos’ private investment company.