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MacKenzie Bezos said on Tuesday that they would pledge half of their enormous fortunes to charity, something that her ex-husband, Jeff, is criticized for not doing.
The ex-wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos finalized her divorce in April and reportedly got a share of the online-shopping giant value of more than $35 billion. Jeff, who in addition to running Amazon, is also the founder of space exploration company Blue Origin, remains 75 percent of his Amazon stock and his ownership in the Washington Post.
The Giving Pledge was started in 2010 with 40 of the richest people in the US. It comes to billionaires to promise more than half of their wealth to charity while they’re still alive or in their wills.
JEFF BEZOS DIVORCE FINALIZED: TECH EXEC WILL KEEP 75 PERCENT OF AMAZON’S STOCK, CONTROL OF WAPO
MacKenzie, who is a budding author in her own right, said the inspiration to join the Giving Pledge came from a book that she had read about writing, Annie Dillard’s “The Writing Life.”
“We have the gifts that we have to offer you through an infinite series of influences and lucky breaks we can never fully understand,” she wrote in a letter, a notice of its decision. “In addition to what assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share.”
“My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful,” she added. “It will take time and effort and care. But I will not wait. And I will continue, until the safe is empty.”
Jeff, who has not signed the Giving Pledge, which so many other billionaires have called the movement in a tweet.
“MacKenzie is great and the thoughtful and effective philanthropy, and I am proud of her,” the 55-year-old Amazon CEO wrote on Twitter. “Her letter is so beautiful. Go get ’em, MacKenzie.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.