This is a figure that will not restore the image of Jeff Bezos. According to the Forbes ranking of the greatest billionaire philanthropists, published on January 19, his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, has already made more donations to charities than him. The two ex-spouses divorced in 2019, and the founder of Amazon had to leave several billion to his ex-wife. A fortune that she seems to have used to help the most deprived, since she is the American billionaire to have made the most donations in 2022.
Thus, in two years, MacKenzie Scott has distributed more money to associations than her husband in his entire life. It has donated, according to Forbes, at least $ 8.6 billion to about 780 organizations working on gender equality, racial justice or public health. Donations which represent approximately 14% of the net value of his fortune, estimated at 53.5 billion dollars as of January 19, 2022. 10% of this sum was devoted to associations in 2021 alone.
Empty the trunk
By comparison, Jeff Bezos gave away around $2.1 billion during his lifetime, just over 1% of his estimated $184.8 billion fortune. It must be said that the founder of Amazon did not convert to philanthropism until 2021, when he left his post as CEO of the e-commerce giant. Since then, he has continued to announce record donations that could have ranked him at the top of the list established by Forbes… if he had really paid this money.
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Indeed, the businessman has pledged to devote 10 billion dollars to the fight against climate change, but has, for the moment, publicly paid only 1.2 million dollars. He should complete the sum to reach the amount promised by 2030. For her part, his wife does not intend to wait to allow associations to benefit from her fortune. She has thus pledged to donate her money “until the trunk is empty”.
Moreover, unlike her ex-husband who devoted his donations to big names like the Smithsonian or the Institute of Neuroscience at Princeton University, MacKenzie Scott devotes her money to local community associations. In a blog post, published last June, she said she wanted to give away her fortune “made possible by systems that need to be changed” and that it would be “preferable if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated between a small number of hands”.
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