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The Woman Giving Away Her Billions

In 1993, Mackenzie Scott and Jeff Bezos married. The following year, they moved to Seattle, and started Amazon.

Mackenzie Scott
Mackenzie Scott | Wikibio

After her divorce from Jeff Bezos in 2019, Mackenzie Scott ended up with roughly 4 percent of Amazon, a stake that was then worth around $37 billion. And, since then, she's been busy donating huge amounts of money to charities.

Even though she has disposed of about half of her shares in the tech giant over the past five years in order to fund her unprecedented philanthropic give-aways, her net worth, thanks to the relentless rise in the value of her Amazon shares, still remains at about $37 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Since the split from Bezos, Scott has donated more than $16.5 billion to a wide range of charities - a huge amount even for one of the richest people on the planet. Scott releases a list of recipients on her website, including more than 360 organizations that received a total of $2.15 billion in the past year.

Forbes reported, "the unrestricted and ultimately more trusting nature of Scott's philanthropy is the exception, not the norm in their world." The New York Times noted that "Ms. Scott has turned traditional philanthropy on its head... by disbursing her money quickly and without much hoopla, Ms. Scott has pushed the focus away from the giver, and onto the nonprofits, she is trying to help." Scott says that she believes "teams with experience on the front lines of challenges will know best how to put the money to good use."

“In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” she wrote in a letter on the Giving Pledge website. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”


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