Tom Alberg, Early Amazon Investor, Cultivated Tech Startups

At the age of 27, Tom Alberg gave up his job at the prestigious New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore to return home to Seattle. It might have seemed that he was trading a highflying legal career for a quieter life.

Instead, he was setting himself up for an extraordinarily varied career in which he provided legal counsel to Boeing Co., became one of the first investors in Amazon.com Inc. and a director of that company for 23 years, helped run McCaw Cellular Communications Inc., co-founded a venture-capital firm, and established a vineyard and a winery.

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