Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott marries Seattle teacher

World’s 22nd richest person remarries after high-profile divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019

MacKenzie Scott, the billionaire philanthropist and former wife of the Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, has married a Seattle science teacher.

Scott, who collected $38bn (£27.5bn) in her divorce from Bezos in 2019, announced her marriage to Dan Jewett, a teacher at a prestigious Seattle school attended by her children.

The 50-year-old, who has promised to donate all of her fortune to charity, said Jewett would join her in selecting good causes. She gave away almost $6bn last year, thought to be the largest sum ever given away in a single year.

The money went to hundreds of small low-profile charities, including food banks, homelessness groups and racial equality campaigns working to address issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a letter published by the Giving Pledge, the philanthropic initiative created by the investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft’s principal founder, Jewett said he was “grateful for the exceptional privilege it will be to partner in giving away assets with the potential to do so much good when shared”.

Jewett, a teacher at the private Lakeside school, added: “It is strange to be writing a letter indicating I plan to give away the majority of my wealth during my lifetime, as I have never sought to gather the kind of wealth required to feel like saying such a thing would have particular meaning.

“In a stroke of happy coincidence, I am married to one of the most generous and kind people I know, and joining her in a commitment to pass on an enormous financial wealth to serve others.”

Scott signed the Giving Pledge in 2019 – which encourages the world’s richest people to commit to giving away at least half their fortunes during their lifetime. She said had “a disproportionate amount of money to share” and promised to work hard at giving it away “until the safe is empty”.

Her ex-husband, the world’s richest person with a $177bn personal fortune, has not signed up to the Giving Pledge. In a statement, Bezos said: “Dan is such a great guy, and I am happy and excited for the both of them.”

Scott is the 22nd richest person in the world with a $53.5bn fortune that has swelled since her divorce, as Amazon’s shares have soared as a result of the pandemic lockdown. She said coronavirus was a “wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling”.

“Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of colour, and for people living in poverty,” she said in a Medium post late last year. “Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”


Rupert Neate Wealth correspondent

The GuardianTramp

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