At first glance, it would seem that the richest women in the world belong to the same club with strict rules. And it is true that Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, Julia Koch or Alice Walton share, in addition to their fortunes, their allergy to photos and interviews and their determination to shield their privacy and feed their auras of mystery. But not all respond to the same profile.
mackenzie scott (fifth richest woman in the world) is also legendary for her shyness and very low public profile, but above all for her commitment to no longer be part of that select group of billionaires. She owns fortune number 37 on the planet, in 2021 Forbes considered her
the most powerful woman in the world for reinventing modern philanthropy with his generosity.
And all thanks to a
historic divorcethe one who in 2019 signed with her husband of the last 25 years
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. The separation was civil and very profitable for her: 19.7 million shares valued at 36,000 million dollars. Four years later, her checking account has dwindled slightly (her net worth is estimated to be around $34.4 billion), but along the way she has become something of a legend.
He grew up in a middle-class home and with parents who always encouraged him to study and dedicate himself to literature, his great passion.
Started writing as a child and at university she became a pupil of the Nobel Prize for Literature Toni Morrison, but shortly after arriving in New York with the idea of writing her first novel, she met Jeff Bezos in a job interview. The rest, indeed, is history. After they got married, they moved to Seattle, where Bezos began to shape what then only aspired to be a bookselling website. In fact, Scot was the first accountant of the technology. Mother of four children (three biological and a girl adopted in China), she continued to write in her spare time and, in 2006,
published a first novel that was very well received by critics.
Mackenzie Scott’s Untethered Philanthropy
Ever since his split from Bezos went public and he regained his maiden name, Scott has always acted with a great sense of urgency. A month after signing the historic divorce from her, he announced his incorporation into
The Giving Pledge, the initiative of Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates that brings together the great fortunes who agree to donate most of their assets. “In addition to all the things life has given me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share. My approach to philanthropy will continue to be considered. I will dedicate time, effort and attention to it. But I’m not going to wait. And I will work hard until the safe is empty, “he said then.
And since then he has done nothing but keep his word. In the last three years Scott
has donated $14.4 billion to 1,600 organizations different non-profits. But it is not only the dimension of his generosity that is revolutionizing modern philanthropy, but, above all, the method he uses to dispose of his fortune.
Without structure, staff or physical headquarters, Scott has imposed a “no strings attached” model that he has deployed with the advice of the consultancy Bridgespan. His philosophy consists of not asking beneficiary organizations to account, letting them manage the money with total freedom and without the need for audits, bureaucracy or lengthy scholarship application processes. So much so that some NGOs believed it was a scam when the philanthropist’s trusted team first contacted them.
Her wedding (and divorce) from her children’s chemistry teacher
Nor does it have a just cause at the head, but practically all of them. She has donated money to all kinds of organizations, from those that support access to education or women’s empowerment to those that work against climate change and in favor of social justice. Curiously, most of them are NGOs closely linked to local projects, contrary to what is usual for her ex-husband, Jeff Bezos, who prefers to donate to prestigious institutions such as Princeton University or the Smithsonian Museum. In any case,
comparisons with the third richest man in the world are hateful: while it is estimated that the philanthropist has already parted with 18% of her fortune; her ex has only donated 1%.
Scott also does not give excessive explanations about his philanthropic work, beyond some specific announcements. In December, yes, he published for the first time the list of beneficiary organizations and his contributions on a web page,
Yield Givingcreated for that purpose and which stands out for being as concise as it is sober, a reflection, without a doubt, of the personality of its creator.
About his private life after the divorce, hardly anything is known except that, in 2021,
married Dan Jewett, a chemistry teacher at her children’s private school and from whom he divorced just a year later. The couple had signed a prenuptial contract to shield the fortune that Scott plans to continue spending relentlessly.
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Why the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos (Amazon) is giving away his money: the 14,500 million that Mackenzie Scott has already melted