Mackenzie Scott, the former wife of the richest man in the world and Amazon CEO and President Jeff Bezos, is on a giving spree.
Scott, who is worth an estimated $38 billion, and whose fortune is from the shares of Amazon she got from her divorce last year — which of note have rapidly increased in value since the Covid crisis began — has given away almost $6 billion in 2020 alone. She’s given away $4 billion in just the last four months to 384 non-profit groups ranging from historically black colleges to various YMCA chapters.
“This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling,” Scott wrote in a Medium post on Dec. 15. “Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”
Outside of Bill Gates, none of the tech billionaires, Bezos included, have given away nearly this amount so Scott’s charitable moves have drawn a lot of attention.
“She’s responding with urgency to the current moment,” Chuck Collins, director of the Charity Reform Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies, told The New York Times. “You think of all these tech fortunes, they’re the great disrupters, but she’s disrupting the norms around billionaire philanthropy by moving quickly.”
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