MacKenzie Scott

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

MacKenzie Scott
Scott in 2016
Born
MacKenzie Scott Tuttle

(1970-04-07) April 7, 1970 (age 53)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Other namesMacKenzie Scott
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Occupations
  • Novelist
  • philanthropist
Notable workThe Testing of Luther Albright
Spouses
  • (m. 1993; div. 2019)
  • Dan Jewett
    (m. 2021; div. 2023)
Children4
AwardsAmerican Book Award (2006)

MacKenzie Scott (née Tuttle, formerly Bezos; born April 7, 1970)[1][2] is an American novelist and philanthropist. As of January 2024, she has a net worth of US$40.6 billion, owning a 4% stake in Amazon, the company her ex-husband, Jeff Bezos founded.[3][4] As such, Scott is the third-wealthiest woman in the United States and the 47th-wealthiest individual in the world.[5] Scott was named the world's most powerful woman by Forbes in 2021 and one of Time's 100 most influential people in 2020.[6]

In 2006, Scott won an American Book Award for her 2005 debut novel, The Testing of Luther Albright.[7] Her second novel, Traps, was published in 2013. She has been executive director of Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization, since she founded it in 2014.[8] She is committed to giving at least half of her wealth to charity as a signatory to the Giving Pledge,[9] Scott made US$5.8 billion in charitable gifts in 2020, one of the largest annual distributions by a private individual to working charities.[10][11] She donated a further $2.7 billion in 2021.[12] As of mid-December 2022, Scott had given a total of $14 billion to over 1600 charitable organizations. [4][13]

Early life and education[edit]

MacKenzie Scott Tuttle was born on April 7, 1970, in San Francisco, California, to Holiday Robin (née Cuming), a homemaker, and Jason Baker Tuttle, a financial planner.[14][15] She has two brothers.[14] She was named after her maternal grandfather, G. Scott Cuming, who worked as an executive and general counsel at El Paso Natural Gas.[14] She remembers seriously writing at the age of six, when she wrote The Book Worm, a 142-page book that was destroyed in a flood.[16]

In 1988, she graduated from the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut.[17] In 1992, Tuttle earned her bachelor's degree in English from Princeton University, where she studied under Nobel Laureate in Literature Toni Morrison, who described Tuttle as "one of the best students I've ever had in my creative writing classes."[16][15]

Career[edit]

After graduating from college, Tuttle worked as a research assistant to Morrison for the 1992 novel Jazz.[16] She also worked in an administrative role for hedge fund D. E. Shaw in New York City, where she met Jeff Bezos.

Amazon[edit]

In 1993, Scott and Bezos married. The following year, they left D. E. Shaw, moved to Seattle, and started Amazon. Scott was one of Amazon's first employees and was heavily involved in Amazon's early days, working on the company's name, business plan, accounts, and shipping early orders.[16][7] She also negotiated the company's first freight contract.[7] After 1996, Scott took a less involved role in the business, preferring to focus on her family and literary career.[16]

Literary career[edit]

In 2005, Scott wrote her debut novel, The Testing of Luther Albright, for which she won an American Book Award in 2006. She said that the book took her ten years to write as she was helping Bezos build Amazon and raising her family.[18] Toni Morrison, her former professor, reviewed the book as "a rarity: a sophisticated novel that breaks and swells the heart".[16] Her second novel, Traps, was published in 2013.[19] According to NPD BookScan, sales of her books were modest.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Scott at a naturalization ceremony on June 14, 2016 (blue dress)

Scott was married to Jeff Bezos.[20][21] She met him while working as an administrative assistant at D.E. Shaw in 1992; after three months of dating, they married and moved from Manhattan to Seattle, Washington, in 1994.[16] They have four children: three sons, and an adopted daughter from China.[22]

Their community property divorce in 2019 left Scott with US$35.6 billion in Amazon stock while her former husband retained 75% of the couple's Amazon stock.[16] She became the third-wealthiest woman in the world and one of the wealthiest people overall in April 2019.[23][16] In July 2020, Scott was ranked the 22nd-richest person in the world by Forbes with a net worth estimated at $36 billion. [24] By September 2020, Scott was named the world's richest woman, and by December 2020, her net worth was estimated at $62 billion. [25][26]

After her divorce from Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Bezos changed her name to MacKenzie Scott, with the surname derived from her middle name.[2]

In 2021, Scott married Lakeside School science teacher Dan Jewett.[27] The marriage was revealed in Jewett's Giving Pledge letter posted on March 6, 2021.[28][29] In September 2022, Scott filed for divorce, which was finalized in January 2023.[30][31]

Philanthropy[edit]

In May 2019, Scott signed the Giving Pledge, a charitable-giving campaign in which she undertook to give away most of her wealth to charity over her lifetime or in her will. Despite its name, the pledge is not legally binding.[32]

In a July 2020 Medium post,[33] Scott announced that she had donated $1.7 billion to 116 non-profit organizations, with a focus on racial equality, LGBTQ+ equality, democracy, and climate change.[34] Her gifts to HBCUs, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and other colleges surpass $800 million.[35][36] In December 2020, less than six months later, Scott stated that she had donated a further $4.15 billion in the previous four months to 384 organizations, with a focus on providing support to people affected by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing long-term systemic inequities.[37] She said that after July, she wanted her advisory team to give her wealth away faster as the United States struggled with the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 while billionaires' wealth continued to climb. Her team's focus was on "identifying organizations with strong leadership teams and results, with special attention to those operating in communities facing high projected food insecurity, high measures of racial inequity, high local poverty rates, and low access to philanthropic capital."[38] Scott's 2020 charitable giving totaled $5.8 billion, one of the largest annual distributions by a private individual to working charities.[39][10]

On June 15, 2021, Scott announced another $2.7 billion in giving to 286 organizations.[40] Forbes reported that Scott donated $8.5 billion across 780 organizations in one year (July 2020 to July 2021).[41] In June 2021, Scott and Melinda French Gates launched the Equality Can't Wait Challenge, a contest to promote gender equality[42] and expanding women's power and influence in the United States by 2030.[43] The four winners received $10 million each, and an additional $8 million was split between the two finalists.[42] In February 2022, nine organizations announced gifts from Scott totaling $264.5 million.[44] On March 23, 2022, more gifts were announced, including $436 million to Habitat for Humanity[45] and $275 million to Planned Parenthood.[46][47] In May 2022, the Big Brothers, Big Sisters foundation reported a $122.6 million donation from Scott.[48] Scott has also made donations to organizations in Kenya, India, Brazil, Micronesia, and Latin America.[49] In April 2022, The New York Times reported that Scott's donations since 2019 have exceeded $12 billion.[14] In September 2022, Scott donated two of her Beverly Hills homes, worth a combined $55 million, to the California Community Foundation (CCF), which provides grants to mission-based nonprofits in Los Angeles. The organization intended to sell both homes and use 90% of the earnings to fund affordable housing initiatives and direct the other 10% to an immigrant integration program.[50] In October 2022, Scott donated $84.5 million to Girl Scouts of the USA and its 29 local councils. This was the largest donation from an individual in the organization’s history.[51] As of November 2022, Scott had donated almost $14 billion to 1500 organizations.[13]

In March 2023, Scott announced an "open call" for community-focused nonprofits that she could fund. Scott plans to make unrestricted $1 million donations to 250 nonprofits selected in the process.[52] Lever for Change announced that Scott's open call for grants prompted 6,000 applicants.[53] Scott donated nearly $2.2 billion in 2023 to 360 organizations supporting early learning, access to affordable housing, race and gender equity, health equity, and civic and social engagement.[54] She donated $5 million to the Hawaii Community Foundation. The foundation intended to use 75% of the donation to fund the Maui Strong Fund, a fund created to support the long-term recovery from Maui wildfires.[55] As of December 2023, Scott had donated more than $16 billion to non-profit organizations.[56]

Forbes reported, "the unrestricted and ultimately more trusting nature of Scott's philanthropy is the exception, not the norm in their world."[41] The New York Times noted that "Ms. Scott has turned traditional philanthropy on its head... by disbursing her money quickly and without much hoopla, Ms. Scott has pushed the focus away from the giver, and onto the nonprofits, she is trying to help."[57] Scott stated she believed "teams with experience on the front lines of challenges will know best how to put the money to good use."[38][58] According to a report from the Center for Effective Philanthropy, slightly more than half of the 277 nonprofit organizations surveyed stated that their grant from Scott has made fundraising easier, with some saying they are able to use it as leverage with other donors and the large gift "has enabled organizations to focus funds where they were most needed to achieve their mission."[13]

In December 2021, Scott faced backlash for a Medium post when she stated she would not reveal how much money she has donated or to whom.[59] She subsequently announced that her team would build a website to share details of her philanthropy.[59] In December 2022, she posted the link to her donation database, called Yield Giving.[4][60] Per the website, "Yield is named after a belief in adding value by giving up control."[61]

Bibliography[edit]

  • The Testing of Luther Albright. Fourth Estate. 2005. ISBN 978-0-00-719287-8.[62]
  • Traps. Knopf. 2013. ISBN 978-0-307-95973-7.[19][63]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  43. ^ McGrath, Maggie (July 29, 2021). "Melinda French Gates And MacKenzie Scott Award $40 Million To The Winners Of The Equality Can't Wait Challenge". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 24, 2023. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
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  46. ^ Franklin, Jonathan (March 23, 2022). "MacKenzie Scott makes a record $275 million donation to Planned Parenthood". NPR. Archived from the original on July 31, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
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  50. ^ Sauer, Megan (September 13, 2022). "Billionaire MacKenzie Scott just donated two Beverly Hills mansions worth $55 million to fund affordable housing in LA". CNBC. Archived from the original on September 15, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  51. ^ "Girl Scouts Receives $84.5 Million Donation from MacKenzie Scott". Girl Scout of the USA. October 18, 2022. Archived from the original on December 23, 2022. Retrieved December 23, 2022.
  52. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (March 21, 2023). "MacKenzie Scott sets new 'open call' to donate $250 million". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 22, 2023. Retrieved March 24, 2023.
  53. ^ Beaty, Thalia; The Associated Press (July 19, 2023). "Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott sets off a frenzy for $1 million grants as over 6,000 applicants pour in for 250 slots". Fortune. Archived from the original on December 22, 2023. Retrieved December 22, 2023.
  54. ^ Liu, Phoebe (December 8, 2023). "MacKenzie Scott Has Donated $2.2 Billion To Charity This Year". Forbes. Archived from the original on December 11, 2023. Retrieved December 22, 2023.
  55. ^ Broder van Dyke, Michelle (December 7, 2023). "MacKenzie Scott donates $5 million to Hawaii Community Foundation for Maui wildfire recovery". Spectrum News. Archived from the original on January 16, 2024. Retrieved January 16, 2024.
  56. ^ Beaty, Thalia (December 7, 2023). "Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott reveals the groups that got some of her $2.1 billion in gifts in 2023". Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 16, 2024. Retrieved January 16, 2024.
  57. ^ "Giving Billions Fast, MacKenzie Scott Upends Philanthropy". The New York Times. December 20, 2020. Archived from the original on July 31, 2022.
  58. ^ Scott, MacKenzie (June 16, 2021). "Seeding by Ceding". Medium. Archived from the original on July 31, 2022. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  59. ^ a b Burack, Emily (April 11, 2022). "In 3 Years, MacKenzie Scott Has Donated $12 Billion". Town & Country. Archived from the original on August 2, 2022. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  60. ^ "MacKenzie Scott reveals details of her $14bn in donations to 1,600 non-profits". The Guardian. New York, NY. December 15, 2022. Archived from the original on December 22, 2023. Retrieved December 31, 2022.
  61. ^ "Yield Giving's website". Yield Giving. Archived from the original on December 22, 2023. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  62. ^ Bezos, MacKenzie; Sutherland, Brian (2013). The Testing of Luther Albright (Unabridged ed.). Brilliance Audio. ISBN 978-1480569157.
  63. ^ Bezos, MacKenzie (2013). Traps. New York: Vintage. ISBN 978-0307950291. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved September 7, 2019.

Further reading[edit]