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MacKenzie Bezos vows to give half of her $37 billion fortune to charity

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos share divorce terms
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos share divorce terms 03:31
  • MacKenzie Bezos has vowed to give half of her estimated $37 billion fortune to charity.
  • On Tuesday she announced she had signed Warren Buffet's Giving Pledge, which her ex-husband has not signed.
  • Other billionaire signatories include Michael Bloomberg, Elon Musk, and Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg

MacKenzie Bezos, who in April finalized her divorce from Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, is vowing to donate at least half of her wealth to charity. 

Bezos, who is worth an estimated $37 billion, announced in a letter published Tuesday that she will sign the "Giving Pledge," a philanthropic campaign founded by celebrated investor Warren Buffett.

"My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful," Bezos wrote. "It will take time and effort and care. But I won't wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty," also noting that she has "a disproportionate amount of money to share." 

The Giving Pledge, founded in 2010 by Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates, has drawn 204 billionaire pledgers, including WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk, IAC Chairman Barry Diller and his wife, fashion mogul Diane von Furstenberg, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. Notably absent from the pledge's list of supporters is Jeff Bezos, who is worth an estimated $115 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

MacKenzie Bezos will give half her fortune to charity 00:37

MacKenzie Bezos, among the world's wealthiest women, was part of a group of 19 new pledge signatories, including Acton, announced on Tuesday. 

"The generosity of this group is a reflection of the inspiration we take from the many millions of people who work quietly and effectively to create a better world for others, often at great personal sacrifice," Buffett said in a statement.

MacKenzie Bezos is also the founder of Bystander Revolution, an peer-to-peer organization committed to anti-bullying efforts that counts Monica Lewinsky as a strategic adviser. "The ultimate goal is the discussion and spread of simple habits of kindness, courage and inclusion," its website reads. 

The former couple announced their split in January after 25 years or marriage. They met in New York in the early 1990s while working at a hedge fund and devised the business plan for Amazon during a cross-country drive to move to Seattle. 

Jeff Bezos congratulated his former spouse on Twitter Tuesday. "MacKenzie is going to be amazing and thoughtful and effective at philanthropy, and I'm proud of her. Her letter is so beautiful. Go get 'em MacKenzie," he wrote.   

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