MacKenzie Bezos joins Giving Pledge, agrees to donate half her $37B fortune

MacKenzie Bezos with her soon-to-be ex-husband Jeff Bezos.


Kevork Djansezian/Techhnews

MacKenzie Bezos said Tuesday she plans to give away at least half her massive fortune.

Bezos, the soon-to-be ex-wife of Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, joined the Giving Pledge, an agreement among some of the world’s wealthiest people to donate at least half their money to charity in their lifetimes or in their wills. She is set to become one of the world’s richest people, worth about $37 billion, once her divorce is finalized in about a month.

Jeff Bezos, who is the world’s richest person, with a $114 billion fortune, has not joined the pledge.

“In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” MacKenzie Bezos wrote in her Giving Pledge letter. “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.”

The Giving Pledge mentioned her work along with Jeff Bezos in donating to marriage equality, cancer research, housing for the homeless and college scholarships for undocumented immigrants.

MacKenzie’s decision to join the pledge offers some additional clues about what she plans to do with her fortune when her divorce is completed. Bezos, who will receive 25% of Jeff Bezos’ Amazon shares, has said little publicly so far about what she plans to do with the money.

After being a minor player in the charity world for most of his career, Jeff Bezos in September unveiled the Day One charitable fund, with an initial investment of $2 billion to aid nonprofits focused on homelessness and to create a new network of preschools in low-income communities.

MacKenzie Bezos joined more than 200 other individuals and couples who are taking part in the Giving Pledge, which was started in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Bill Gates is listed as the second richest person in the world and Buffett is the fourth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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