How McKenzie Scott Became a Billionaire

By: Cecelia Williams

 

Mckenzie Scott, formerly married to Jeff Bezos (m.1993; div. 2019), is the third richest woman in the world. With a net worth of 54 billion dollars at only age 50, one must wonder how did she become such a prominent business woman?

Many assume the wealth came from her divorce, and a large portion of it did. However, it is also important to mention that she was heavily relied upon during the early days of Amazon. She was, in fact, the company’s first official employee. She took part in the company's naming, original business plan, accounts and early shipping orders. This being said, it is not as if she did not earn her share, though her husband was the face of the company.

Though the divorce was the cause of the majority of her wealth, Scott has also published two novels while still in marriage, the first of which won an American Book Award in 2006, a year after its publication in 2005. However, it is hard to deny that the 25 percent of the couple's Amazon stock and 4 percent stake in the company wasn’t the largest contributor.

With her wealth, though, she has pledged over 1.7 billion dollars to a variety of charities. This in contrast to her ex-husband who has often been criticized for his reluctance to contribute to charity. The 1.7 billion was divided amongst nine different charities in 2020 after her (not uncommon) opinions on prominent inequalities, many of which were brought into the spotlight during the past year.

The world is curious to see how Scott chooses to use her wealth next, as she has already proved herself to deviate from her ex-husband’s philanthropic trends and has taken charge of her own fortune.