Mackenzie Scott, ex-wife of Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos, has donated over $4.1 billion in the last four months to nearly 400 non-profit groups this year.
In a Medium blog post, the world's third-richest woman said, "The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling and she wanted to provide immediate support to those suffering the economic effects of the crisis".
Scott added that the economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, people of colour, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.
"The result over the last four months has been $4,158,500,000 in gifts to 384 organisations across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. Some are filling basic needs: food banks, emergency relief funds, and support services for those most vulnerable", Scott said.
In July, Scott said she had donated $1.7 billion in the past year to causes including racial equality, LGBTQ rights, public health, and climate change.
Scott, a novelist, played a pivotal role in the early years of Amazon but kept a low profile prior to her divorce from Bezos in 2019. She was awarded $38 billion in that split, a war chest that has grown to over $60 billion as Amazon's stock skyrocketed in the two years since.
Scott is the third richest woman in the world, behind L'Oreal heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers and Walmart heir Alice Walton. She has emerged as one of the most publicly generous philanthropists after she signed the "Giving Pledge" in May 2019 -- a commitment to give away at least half of her fortune to charitable organisations either during her lifetime or after she dies.
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