New billionaire gives away fortune
MacKenzie Bezos, the former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has pledged half her fortune to charity by signing onto an initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.
According to Page Six, Bezos - whose ex is the world's richest man - was one of 19 people on Tuesday to sign the "Giving Pledge" campaign, which was announced in 2010 by Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, and Gates, co-founder of Microsoft.
It calls for the super-wealthy to give away more than half their fortunes during their lifetimes or in their wills. So far, the campaign has attracted the support of 204 individuals and families, according to CNN.
"We each come by the gifts we have to offer by an infinite series of influences and lucky breaks we can never fully understand," MacKenzie Bezos, who finalised her divorce in April and reportedly got a stake in the online shopping giant worth over $US35 billion ($A50bn), said in a statement.
"In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share," she added. "My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won't wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty."
MacKenzie Bezos, whose personal fortune is now worth an estimated $US36.6 billion ($A52.79bn), ranks 22nd on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Her former husband, whose net worth is roughly $114 billion ($A164.42bn) and leads the global rankings, is notably absent from the list.
Among the 19 people who signed the pledge are Brian Acton, the co-founder of WhatsApp; Paul Sciarra, the co-founder of Pinterest; and Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange.
Robert Smith, 56, the billionaire founder of San Francisco-based Vista Equity Partners, who recently promised to pay off the student loans of the 396 graduating seniors at Morehouse College, also is a signatory, according to the Financial Times.
"The generosity of this group is a reflection of the inspiration we take from the many millions of people who work quietly and effectively to create a better world for others, often at great personal sacrifice," Buffett said in a statement Tuesday.
The former couple, who apparently had no prenup, announced they were divorcing in January, just before The Post revealed Jeff was dating TV host Lauren Sanchez.
The National Enquirer splashed their leaked love notes across its pages and described X-rated photos of Jeff - including a "below the belt selfie."
This story first appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission.