Bezos' Ex Is Already Doing This. Now He Is, Too

After much criticism, Amazon founder says he plans on giving away most of his fortune in his lifetime
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2022 11:25 AM CST
Jeff Bezos: I'll Give Away Most of My Fortune
Jeff Bezos is seen on the sidelines before the start of an NFL football game on Sept. 15 in Kansas City, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

If it wasn't clear what Jeff Bezos plans to eventually do with his amassed wealth, he's just offered some clarification. He's going to give away most of his $124 billion before he dies, he tells CNN, which notes this is the first time the Amazon founder has suggested such a move. "Yeah, I do," Bezos, who sat next to longtime girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, answered when interviewer Chloe Melas asked if he intends to donate the bulk of his fortune during his lifetime. The 58-year-old added that he and Sanchez, who've been dating for three years, are "building the capacity to be able to give away this money."

Bezos didn't provide any further details, such as what exact percentage he's looking to give away, or to what specific organizations or people. He already has pledged about 8% of his net worth—$10 billion or so—over the next decade to the Bezos Earth Fund, which is devoted to environmental causes. "It's really hard," he told Melas, per the New York Times. "There are a bunch of ways, I think, that you could do ineffective things." Bezos has been slammed in the past for not signing the Giving Pledge, which some of the nation's wealthiest couples and individuals have agreed to, committing to giving away at least half of their fortunes.

Some of the big names who've signed on to that vow: Bill Gates and ex Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, and Bezos' own former wife, MacKenzie Scott. Scott in particular has been a philanthropic machine in recent years, giving away more than $12 billion of her own $24 billion fortune to causes dedicated to education and mental health, among others. From June of last year to March alone, Scott donated close to $4 billion to nearly 500 groups. Now that Bezos has announced his intentions, it seems like he's already ramping up his donation efforts: During their CNN interview, Bezos and Sanchez announced they're bestowing a $100 million grant to singer Dolly Parton, for her to distribute to charitable causes of her choice. (More Jeff Bezos stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.