This is a big feat for women.
With a net worth of $68 billion, MacKenzie Scott, a philanthropist and author, as well as the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, is now the wealthiest woman in the world. Her status surpasses that of L’Oréal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. Scott’s status also makes her the twelfth wealthiest person in the world.
After the couple’s divorce settlement in 2019, Scott received a quarter of Bezos’ Amazon shares, all of which equated to a 4% stake worth more than $35 billion.
In July, Scott announced that she had donated nearly $1.7 billion to over 100 organizations, four of which are historically Black colleges and universities. She shared that her decision to donate to those specific organizations was because they focused on one of nine “areas of need,” which range from racial equality to climate change. In 2019, Scott also collaborated with the Giving Pledge initiative, founded by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. The initiative encourages the world’s richest people to dedicate a majority of their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetime.
Other signatories include Michael R. Bloomberg, Phillip and Patricia Frost, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. Bezos, who is the world’s richest man, did not sign the pledge, according to a list of signatories. His wealth increased over the last three months, jumping to just a little under 30 percent, otherwise up more than 90 percent this year. The spike in shares increased the wealth of Bezos to over $200 billion.
Scott was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She graduated from the U.S. ivy league school Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1992. She studied creative writing under late Pulitzer-prize winning author Toni Morrison. Scott went on to publish two novels — “The Testing of Luther Albright” in 2005 and “Traps” in 2013.