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Jeff Bezos Says He Will Give Away Most of His $124 Billion Fortune Within His Lifetime

The Amazon founder says he’ll be donating much of his $124 billion net worth to charity.

Jeff Bezos Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Billionaire Jeff Bezos is finally ready to spread the wealth. For the first time, the Amazon founder has publicly pledged to give away most of his fortune to charity within his lifetime. 

Bezos, whose net worth is estimated at about $124 billion, revealed to CNN in a recent interview that he plans on donating much of his wealth during his lifetime to climate change, in addition to other charitable causes. Seated alongside partner Lauren Sánchez, he told the publication that the two of them have been “building the capacity to be able to give away this money.” 

As the world’s fourth-richest person, Bezos has long been criticized for his lack of charitable giving—at least in comparison to his peers, and more specifically, his ex-wife and fellow philanthropist Mackenzie Scott. Scott, who filed for divorce from Bezos in 2019, walked away with a four percent stake in Amazon, worth a whopping $37 billion. Since the settlement, she has signed and made good on her lifetime commitment to the Giving Pledge campaign and to date, has quickly distributed over $12 billion to more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations around the globe in the past three years.  

jeff bezos and Lauren Sánchez
Jeff Bezos, alongside partner Lauren Sánchez, publicly announced his plans to donate the majority of his net worth to charity. Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Bezos’s most recent philanthropic efforts, however, have not gone unnoticed. This past weekend, he named music legend Dolly Parton as the third-ever recipient of his Courage and Civility award. The grand prize? A $100 million to donate to the charities of her choosing. She now joins prior awardees chef Jose Andrés of World Central Kitchen and political commentator Van Jones.  

“The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way,” Bezos told CNN, referring to the process of donating his wealth. “It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work, a bunch of very smart teammates, hard-working teammates, and I’m finding—and I think Lauren is finding the same thing—that charity, philanthropy, is very similar.” 

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