Jeff Bezos Says He’s Giving Away Most Of His Fortune

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has said he will give away most of his wealth in his lifetime, becoming the latest billionaire to pledge to donate much of his massive fortune.

Bezos, whose “real-time” worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at approximately $124.1 billion, made the announcement in a joint CNN interview with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez that aired Monday. The billionaire did not specify how — or to whom — he would give the money, but said the couple was building the “capacity” to do so.

“The hard part is figuring out how to do it properly,” Bezos said during the interview. “Is not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It required a lot of hard work and very smart teammates. And I’m discovering—and Lauren is discovering—that philanthropy is very similar. Is not easy. Is very complicated”.

Bezos has drawn criticism for not signing the Giving Pledge, the campaign launched by Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates and Warren Buffet to encourage billionaires to donate most of their wealth through philanthropy.

His ex-wife, McKenzie Scott, signed that pledge in 2019 and has since become a formidable force in the world of philanthropy, showering charities across the country with unexpected and often secret contributions. In the last three years, she has donated more than $12 billion to historically black colleges and universities, women’s rights groups and other nonprofit organizations.

Bezos, who divorced Scott in 2019, resigned as CEO of Amazon last year to devote more time to philanthropy and other projects. Among other donations, he pledged $10 billion to combat climate change as part of his Bezos Earth Fund initiative. Last year, he donated $510.7 million to charity, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

On Saturday, Bezos and Sanchez announced that they are awarding a $100 million, no-strings grant to singer Dolly Parton, who has been lauded for her philanthropic work that helped create Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Bezos had given a similar grant to chef José Andrés and CNN commentator Van Jones last year.

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Jeff Bezos Says He’s Giving Away Most Of His Fortune