MacKenzie Scott is an American philanthropist, activist and novelist. The ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and second-richest man on Earth, she has made a name for herself for her charitable giving having donated a total of $12 billion to date. Most recently, she donated $85 million to Girl Scouts of the USA and 29 of its local branches, according to the Associated Press.
Scott’s net worth dropped in October 2022 by about $1.3 billion. She is still worth $33.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Scott was briefly named the wealthiest woman in the world, but that distinction didn’t even last a full day — in this case due to Amazon stock soaring and then taking a slight dip prior to market close. Because she has a habit of making huge charitable donations, her ranking on the “richest lists” fluctuates.
She married Bezos one year prior to his launching of Amazon; the two were married from 1993 to 2019. Bezos has been a member of the billionaire’s club for more than two decades. In keeping with her philanthropic personality, Scott signed “The Giving Pledge” upon receiving her settlement.
Scott has been named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People for 2020, as well as one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes in 2021.
Early Life and Career
MacKenzie Scott (nee Tuttle) was born on April 7, 1970, in San Francisco. The daughter of a financial planner and a housewife, she grew up in posh Marin County. She attended the Hotchkiss School, located in Lakeville, Connecticut. While there, her father filed for bankruptcy following an SEC probe. A judge barred her father from ever launching another financial firm, indicating that the family were lavish spenders.
Scott was an English major who studied under Toni Morrison at Princeton University, and she graduated in 1992.
She moved to New York City soon after taking a job at a hedge fund, even though her passion was to become a writer. While working at the hedge fund as an administrative assistant, she met colleague Jeff Bezos who was a senior VP. Their courtship was very short — after just three months, they were engaged. They were married in 1993.
Bezos was determined to create an online ecommerce store and he began his empire by selling books. Scott was integral to his success and moved with him when he relocated to Seattle to make his ecommerce dream a reality. The original name for this venture was Cadabra, but it was soon changed to Amazon.
The business came to be after he received a $300,000 loan from his parents. Scott served as the administrative assistant and bookkeeper.
Still dreaming of becoming a novelist, she published her debut novel “The Testing of Luther Albright” in 2005. Her sophomore effort, “Traps,” was published in 2013.
Amazon went public in 1997. Bezos became a billionaire in 1998. By 2015, his net worth was $50 million — three years later it surpassed $100 billion. In recent years, his net worth vacillates between $150 and $200 billion.
After 25 years of marriage, Scott and Bezos divorced amicably. The couple share three sons and a daughter. He was worth $136 billion at the time of their divorce, leaving her with an estimated $35.6 billion in equity. The pair agreed to let Jeff keep the voting rights of the shares he divested to her.
She then changed her name to MacKenzie Scott and began her legacy of charitable donations in the summer of 2020, donating $1.7 billion across 116 organizations. Later that year, she donated over $4 billion more to 400 charities and other institutions.
Scott remarried in 2021 to Dan Jewitt, a high school science teacher at Seattle’s Lakeside School. She filed for divorce Sept. 26, 2022. According to the New York Times, the couple has a separation agreement to divide marital property which Jewitt will not contest.
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