Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos and his wife who was there since the beginning MacKenzie Bezos finalized their divorce last month (after we all found out he had moved on to his alleged side piece Lauren Sanchez), and she walked away the third richest woman in the world. Jeff was worth $137 billion. He’s now worth $114 billion. A newly-single MacKenzie is reportedly worth $36.6 billion (she now owns about 4% of Amazon, while Jeff owns about 12%). I’m not a math person, so let’s just guess that it would take MacKenzie ten lifetimes to spend all that money, Brewster’s Millions-style. MacKenzie probably knows this, which is why she’s dumping a ton of it into various charities.
CNN reports that MacKenzie just signed The Giving Pledge, a philanthropy effort founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010, which encourages rich people to drop at least half of their wealth on charitable efforts, either while they’re still alive or upon their death. Almost 200 high-profile billionaires have signed, like Elon Musk, George Lucas, and Mark Zuckerberg. It’s not really a contract, but more of a promise. MacKenzie Bezos is the latest. If she’s worth $36.6 billion, then she’s pledged at least $18 billion to charity.
MacKenzie wrote a statement regarding her decision on May 25th, and released it to the public today on The Giving Pledge’s website. You can read her full letter here, but here is a small piece that sort of sums up her choice to get involved:
“There are lots of resources each of us can pull from our safes to share with others – time, attention, knowledge, patience, creativity, talent, effort, humor, compassion. In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share. 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.”
So it sounds like MacKenzie didn’t select the “after I’m worm food” option to her charitable giving. She explains that she sees “tremendous value” in acting quickly on the impulse to give. Good for her! She’s like Ivana at the end of The First Wives Club, except her motto appears to be: don’t get mad, get everything…and then give it all away.
Jeff Bezos tweeted about his ex-wife’s decision to blow all that Amazon money on people who need it, and he’s supportive of her.
MacKenzie is going to be amazing and thoughtful and effective at philanthropy, and I’m proud of her. Her letter is so beautiful. Go get ‘em MacKenzie. https://t.co/S2gLLBQyRQ
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) May 28, 2019
I would personally like to point out that Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, has not signed the pledge that was started by the second and third richest people in the world. Of course, maybe Jeff hasn’t signed the pledge because he’s currently looking to make charitable donations within his own company. Like donating a couple more toilets so that his employees don’t have to piss in water bottles.