MacKenzie Scott is worth $36 billion and has 'revolutionized philanthropy' since divorcing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos

MacKenzie Scott is worth $36 billion and has 'revolutionized philanthropy' since divorcing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos
  • MacKenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated billions to charity post-divorce.

  • Elon Musk criticized Scott's philanthropy, hinting it's driven by disdain for her ex-husband.

  • Last year, Scott sold Amazon shares worth about $10 billion, or about a quarter of her stake.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was married to MacKenzie Scott for 25 years.

Scott is 39th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, worth $36 billion, and is one of the world's richest women.

The couple, who have four children together, had their divorce finalized in July 2019. The $38 billion settlement kicked off Scott's journey into charitable giving.

Just two months before her divorce, Scott had signed the Giving Pledge initiative, committing to giving away half her wealth.

In 2022 alone, Scott donated almost $2 billion to 343 organizations.

She topped that in 2023, with almost $2.2 billion worth of grants donated to 360 organizations.

Scott donated two Beverly Hills mansions worth $55 million to the housing charity California Community Foundation in 2022.

"It's no overstatement to say that MacKenzie Scott has revolutionized philanthropy," Krish O'Mara Vignarajah, the CEO of a refugee charity that received a donation from Scott, told Business Insider.

She is arguably the "single most influential figure" in the US's philanthropic community according to the Harvard Business School.

Scott is one of just 11 US billionaire philanthropists to give away more than a fifth of their wealth, according to Forbes.

Melinda French Gates, the former wife of Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, said in 2022 she had "huge respect" for Scott's "trust-based" approach to philanthropy.

However, Scott's charitable giving has drawn scorn from one of the world's richest people, Elon Musk.

"'Super rich ex-wives who hate their former spouse' should filed be listed among 'Reasons that Western Civilization died,'" he wrote in a since-deleted post in March.

photo collage of Elon Musk (left) and Jeff Bezos (right)
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.Getty Images

Musk, who has been a vocal critic of DEI initiatives, was replying to another user's claims that the majority of Scott's chosen charities were organizations that "deal with issues of race and/or gender."

But the SpaceX founder's comments have clearly had no effect on Scott's philanthropy.

This March she announced she would be more than doubling her donation pledge, raising her target from $250 million to $640 million to be shared between 361 nonprofits.

A regulatory filing showed that Scott sold $10.4 billion of her Amazon shares in 2023 — about a quarter of her stake.

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