The Washington Post announced Monday that Bezos will buy the paper and its affiliated publications for $250 million. It said Amazon has no role in the purchase.
The Post, which is known for breaking major stories including the Watergate scandal in the Nixon era, had been owned by the Graham family for four generations.
In a statement Monday, Post Chairman Donald Graham said the paper would be better served with another owner. He said newspaper-industry challenges, including declining revenue, led the family to consider selling the paper.
The Graham family is one of many multigenerational families that have sold metropolitan newspapers in recent decades.
Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos is seen at a product demonstration in Santa Monica, California, in this September 6, 2012, file photo.xAmazon founder Jeffrey Bezos is seen at a product demonstration in Santa Monica, California, in this September 6, 2012, file photo.
Bezos said in a letter published on the Washington Post's website that the paper will not change radically.
He said "the values of The Post do not need changing." Bezos said "the paper’s duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners."
The Amazon CEO says he will remain in Seattle, where Amazon is based, and will delegate the paper's daily operations to managers.
The Post reports that Bezos ranks 11th on Forbes list of the wealthiest individuals in America with a net worth of $23.3 billion.
The Washington Post says it has suffered a 44 percent decline in its operating revenue over the past six years. The decline is part of an industry-wide challenge for newspapers, which are losing advertising revenue and circulation.
The Post has been a leading U.S. newspaper for decades, breaking stories such as the Watergate scandal, the Pentagon Papers and recently, disclosures about the National Security Administration's surveillance programs.