It isn’t often that a novelist gets to dispense with $1.7 billion in less than a year. But that’s exactly what happened since MacKenzie Scott—formerly Bezos—began working with a team of nonprofit advisors to give away the majority of her wealth. And with a fortune in Amazon stock estimated at $57 billion earlier this year, she has a lot to give.
Scott signed the Giving Pledge in May of 2019, mere months after news of her divorce from the world’s richest person became known. In her comments on the pledge, she nodded heavily toward her identity as a fiction author, quoting a passage from Annie Dillard’s “The Writing Life”: “Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book… The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now.”
That piece of wisdom doesn’t quite track with MacKenzie and Jeff’s approach to giving prior to the divorce, which saw only a relative trickle of commitments from a couple already worth in excess of $100 billion. But now that she’s MacKenzie Scott, the woman often referred to in the past as her ex-husband’s wife seems to be walking a path of her own.
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