Charity cases: Bezos and the biggest donations of modern times

The third-richest woman in the world is donating half her fortune

Stars Insider

29/05/19 | StarsInsider

LIFESTYLE Charity

Money: it's a gas. It makes the world turn, yet most of it is held by the few people at the top. So, when a billionaire decides to be charitable and redistribute their incomprehensible funds, it’s a huge deal.

MacKenzie Bezos, whose divorce from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bumped her net worth to about US$37 billion, is the latest of those billionaires. She has pledged to donate half of her immense fortune to charity, joining 18 other people who signed The Giving Pledge campaign on May 28, TMZ reports.

The campaign was launched in 2010 by Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft. She joins 204 people from 23 countries who have signed the pledge to give away half of their wealth during their lives or in their will.

Though it’s not a legally binding pledge and she hasn’t specified how the funds will be distributed, MacKenzie’s history of philanthropic endeavors, along with the fact that she didn’t waste any time in deciding what to do with her money, shows immense promise.

When MacKenzie and Jeff made their divorce official in April, she became the third-richest woman in the world, worth an estimated US$36.6 billion. In her pledge statement she wrote, “I have a disproportionate amount of money to share. My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”

Some think this was a jab at her ex-husband and Washington Post owner, as he has been widely criticized for not signing the pledge. He reportedly remains the only un-pledged billionaire among the top five richest Americans.

Jeff tweeted his support, however, writing, "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."

Among the 19 people who signed the pledge alongside her are Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, Paul Sciarra, co-founder of Pinterest, and Brian Armstrong, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.

Check out this gallery to see which other loaded donors have dropped the biggest donations of recent times.

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