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MacKenzie Scott is now the wealthiest woman in the world

September 2, 2020, 4:32 PM UTC
Jeff Bezos’ ex wife McKenzie Scott says she’s donated $1.7 billion to racial equity and other causes
24 April 2018, Germany, Berlin: Head of Amazon Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos arrive for the Axel Springer award ceremony. Bezos will be receiving the award later. Photo: Jörg Carstensen/dpa (Photo by Jörg Carstensen/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Jörg Carstensen—picture alliance/Getty Images

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MacKenzie Scott, the writer, philanthropist, and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, is the richest woman in the world following a recent tech stock surge.

NBC News reports that the rise in Amazon’s stock—which has spiked from $2,000 to $3,500 per share since the beginning of 2020—has propelled Scott up the billionaires’ list. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Scott is now the 12th richest person and the No. 1 wealthiest woman in the world, sitting one place ahead of L’Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, who previously held the distinction.

After her 2019 divorce, Scott was the fourth-richest woman in the world, behind Bettencourt Meyers, Alice Walton of the Walmart family, and Jacqueline Badger Mars of the Mars candy empire. The net worth of each of those women has remained relatively steady, less affected by the recent surge in tech stocks.

Scott’s net worth is currently pegged at $67.4 billion. In 2019, her fortune was estimated at $36 billion based on Amazon’s share price at the time. In her separation from Bezos, Scott retained 25% of the couple’s stock in Amazon, or about a 4% stake in the entire company.

Since her divorce, Scott—who announced a name change from Bezos in July—has emerged as a prominent philanthropist. That month, she revealed details of some of her charitable commitments, totaling $1.7 billion given over the prior year. Those donations included historic gifts to historically Black colleges and universities. She has also signed the Giving Pledge, a commitment among the wealthy to give away a significant portion of their money over their lifetimes—a notable decision because, in contrast to many couples who make the pledge together, Scott did so independently of her former husband, who has not made the same promise.

The recent tech stock tear has increased the wealth of Bezos, the richest man in the world, to $205 billion, making him the first person in history to be worth more than $200 billion.

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