Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Amazon ex-wife splashes out another US$3 billion for charity

After her divorce, she signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away most of her fortune.

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American billionaire MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated nearly US$3 billion to a range of charities.

She said in a blog post that she wanted to give the money to those “that have been historically underfunded and overlooked”.

She wrote that she had chosen 286 organisations working on racial inequality, the arts and education.

Scott is currently one of the world’s richest women, having been awarded billions of dollars in her 2019 divorce from Bezos, who this month is the world’s richest man.

She helped Bezos start the technology giant in 1994 and took away 4% of Amazon’s shares in the divorce deal.

After her divorce, she signed the Giving Pledge, promising to give away most of her fortune.

In December, she revealed she had donated more than US$4 billion in just four months to women-led charities, food banks and Black colleges.

Despite the size of these donations, she is still the world’s 22nd-richest person, worth nearly US$60 billion, according to Forbes.

In her most recent blog post on Tuesday, she reiterated that she was keen to redistribute her wealth, having worked with a team of researchers and her new husband, science teacher Dan Jewett, to pick who to donate to.

“In this effort, we are governed by a humbling belief that it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a small number of hands, and that the solutions are best designed and implemented by others,” she wrote.

Charities and organisations dedicated to bridging divides between different religions were among those who received “relatively large gifts”.

The Giving Pledge is a commitment by the world’s richest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to “giving back”. It was started by Microsoft’s Bill and Melinda Gates and investment guru Warren Buffett in 2010. Other signatories include the likes of Star Wars creator and movie mogul George Lucas.

Her ex Bezos has not yet signed the pledge, although current husband Jewett joined in March.

He said in a letter: “In a stroke of happy coincidence, I am married to one of the most generous and kind people I know – and I am joining her in a commitment to pass on an enormous financial wealth to serve others.”

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