business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I normally don't get into the business of reporting on nuptials, but this one seems with making an exception.  (And no, this isn't a story about the marriage of Megan Markle and Prince Harry.)

Multiple press reports say that Mackenzie Scott recently married Dan Jewett, a science teacher at a private Seattle-area high school.

Which would not be noteworthy at all except for the fact that Mackenzie Scott used to be known as Mackenzie Scott Bezos, during her 25-year marriage to Jeff Bezos, the founder-CEO of Amazon.  They divorced in 2019, with a settlement that instantly made Mackenzie Scott the 22nd richest person in the world with a net worth of $53 billion.

Since the divorce, Mackenzie Scott has been an aggressive philanthropist.  The Associated Press reports, "After donating $1.68 billion to 116 nonprofits, universities, community development groups and legal organizations last July, Scott asked a team of advisers to help her 'accelerate' her 2020 giving with immediate help to those financially gutted by the pandemic.

"Scott went on to donate a total of $5.7 billion in 2020 by asking community leaders to help identify 512 organizations for seven- and eight-figure gifts, including food banks, human-service organizations, and racial-justice charities.  She was listed as No. 2 among the 50 Americans who gave the most to charity last year, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual rankings."  (Number one was Jeff Bezos, who gave $10 billion to the Bezos Earth Fund.)

The Wall Street Journal notes that Mackenzie Scott also joined The Giving Pledge, which was started in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, in which billionaires promise "to donate most of their fortune to philanthropic efforts."

Now, Dan Jewett, her new husband, has signed on, too.

"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,” Jewett said a blog posting.

Now that's an Eye-Opener.