MacKenzie Scott got a hefty settlement when she split from ex-husband Jeff Bezos last year — and now, those assets have helped her become the wealthiest woman in the world.
Scott, 50, is worth $68 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
The outlet's "daily ranking" lists Scott as the 12th-richest person in the world, edging her past L’Oréal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, whose fortune is valued at $66.8 billion.
Amazon CEO Bezos, meanwhile, remains No. 1 on the list, and is worth $207 billion.
He and Scott's split was announced in January 2019 after 25 years of marriage and four children. That April, they reached a settlement that let Scott keep a four percent stake in Amazon valued at $38.3 billion at the time, Bloomberg reported.
Scott wrote on Twitter at the time that she was also giving Bezos all of her interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, as well as 75 percent of their Amazon stock, plus voting control of her shares “to support his continued contributions with the teams of these incredible companies.”
In May 2019, she joined Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates’ Giving Pledge, and in doing so, vowed to donate a majority of her wealth to various charities.
She revealed in July that she’s given nearly $1.7 billion to charity in the year since, including a $586 million contribution to organizations supporting racial justice, $46 million to charity groups focused on LGBTQ rights and $133 million to nonprofits promoting gender equality.
Scott also said she donated millions of dollars toward public health, global development and climate change.
She donated to 116 organizations, including the Obama Foundation, Movement for Black Lives, Black Girls CODE, GLSEN, The Trevor Project, RAINN, Future Without Violent, Fund for Trans Generations, No Kid Hungry, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Potential Energy Coalition, Project Echo — COVID-19 Response and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, she wrote in a Medium article.
She began the post by stating her goal was to "give the majority of my wealth back to the society that helped generate it, to do it thoughtfully, to get started soon, and to keep at it until the safe is empty."
Scott also addressed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on communities facing mounting challenges.
"Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror," she wrote. "Life will never stop finding fresh ways to expose inequities in our systems; or waking us up to the fact that a civilization this imbalanced is not only unjust, but also unstable. What fills me with hope is the thought of what will come if each of us reflects on what we can offer."
"I began work to complete my pledge with the belief that my life had yielded two assets that could be of particular value to others: the money these systems helped deliver to me, and a conviction that people who have experience with inequities are the ones best equipped to design solutions," she continued.
Scott clarified that she gave the money with no strings attached.
"I gave each a contribution and encouraged them to spend it on whatever they believe best serves their efforts. Unless organization leadership requested otherwise, all commitments were paid up front and left unrestricted to provide them with maximum flexibility," Scott wrote.
The Giving Pledge was launched by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates in 2010, and has been signed by more than 100 of the world’s wealthiest people as a promise to commit more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes, either during their lifetime or in their will.
Other notable signatories include Elon Musk, George Lucas and wife Mellody Hobson, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.
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