Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, who received four per cent of her former husband Jeff Bezos‘ company, Amazon, in a divorce settlement in 2019, has remarried.
MacKenzie Scott’s marriage to Dan Jewett, a science teacher from Seattle, was revealed in a post on the website of The Giving Pledge, the philanthropic organisation founded by Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010.
“It is strange to be writing a letter indicating I plan to give away the majority of my wealth during my lifetime, as I have never sought to gather the kind of wealth required to feel like saying such a thing would have particular meaning,” Jewett wrote.
“I have been a teacher for the majority of my life, as well as a grateful student of the generosity of those around me. This has meant doing my best to follow their example by passing on resources of all kinds – from time, to energy, to material possessions – when I have had them to give. And now, in a stroke of happy coincidence, I am married to one of the most generous and kind people I know – and joining her in a commitment to pass on an enormous financial wealth to serve others.
“Kind people in my life have been instrumental in making me the person I am today – people who supported me through challenging times, showed me grace when I was at my worst, befriended me despite our differences, and offered me a home when I had none. I have been inspired to look out for others by their example.
“Relationships and a common humanity are foundational parts of my life and worldview. I recognise that the differences between people are vast. I have been lucky to find my closest friends in people very unlike me in distinct ways: religion, sexual orientation, race, gender identity, socioeconomic background, you name it.
“Kindness and a willingness to find commonality despite differences has brought me together with them and changed me for the better. Recognising how much I have to learn from those unlike me has led me to a partner similarly inclined. I have seen many ways that MacKenzie has seen her efforts enhanced when she acts on the belief that those with common values but different perspectives, strengths, and experiences are essential to effecting positive change.
“We are united in that understanding and in our excitement for all we have to learn from so many people working in service of others. With that as a foundation, I join with the kindest and most thoughtful person I know in making this pledge, grateful for the exceptional privilege it will be to partner in giving away assets with the potential to do so much good when shared.”
MacKenzie Scott, 50, is the world’s 22nd-richest person worth some US$53.5 billion, according to an estimate by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. She was married to Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, from 1993 to 2019. They have four children: three sons and a daughter, adopted from China.
MacKenzie Scott was given US$35.6 billion in Amazon stock in their divorce settlement, with her ex-husband retaining 75 per cent of the couple’s Amazon stock. The settlement made her the third-wealthiest woman in the world and one of the wealthiest people overall in April 2019. By September 2020, she was named the world’s richest woman, and by December 2020, her net worth was estimated at US$62 billion.
Since the divorce, MacKenzie Scott has become one of the most important philanthropists of her generation, publicly stating she wanted to give away most of her settlement.
She gave away almost US$6 billion last year. The money mainly went to small charities and institutions, such as historically Black colleges that do not normally receive billionaire largesse.
Writing on Medium on 16 December last year, MacKenzie Scott said that she had asked her team to figure out how to give away her money faster.
Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person with a net wealth of US$176 billion.