Get to Know MacKenzie Bezos—Former Wife of Amazon Chief Jeff Bezos and One of the Richest Women in the World
People know MacKenzie Bezos as the wife of Amazon chief Jeff Bezos. They have been married for 26 years before they filed for a divorce in 2019. After the split, MacKenzie is now Amazon’s 2nd-largest stockholder, just behind her former husband.
As part of their divorce, MacKenzie received 4% or 19.7 million Amazon shares, which was valued at $48 billion as of the end of April 2020. Because of her $45.5 billion fortune, she is now the 4th-richest woman in the world.
Some might assume that she only got to where she is right now because of the divorce, but that’s not the case. She has never stood behind the shadows of his former husband and has supported him even before he established Amazon.
Even though Jeff and MacKenzie are now known for being two of the world’s richest, they didn’t have that much money when they got married.
MacKenzie Scott Tuttle was born in San Francisco, California, on April 7, 1970. In 1988, she graduated from Hotchkiss School, Connecticut. She then pursued a bachelor’s degree in English in Princeton and received the highest honors when she graduated in 1992. A former professor of hers, author Toni Morrison, has nothing but praises for the young Mackenzie. Morrison said that she’s one of the best students she has ever had in her creative writing class.
After graduating, MacKenzie applied for a job at the hedge fund firm D.E. Shaw. Her boss was the young Jeff Bezos, who was already the vice president of the firm. Jeff was even the first one to interview his fellow Princeton alum. Since their offices are just near each other’s, MacKenzie would hear him laugh all day. She eventually got smitten by it. Making the first move, MacKenzie asked Jeff out for lunch. They then got engaged 3 months later and got married 6 months after their first date.
Jeff told his new bride all about his idea for Amazon. MacKenzie revealed that she could hear the passion in his voice when talking about his idea. After a year, they quit their jobs and traveled cross-country to Seattle. Jeff wrote his business plan on the way. MacKenzie found it satisfying to watch her husband go through the adventure of founding his own business. She eventually became one of the first Amazon employees when she took on the role of an accountant.
MacKenzie and Jeff eventually had 4 children: 3 biological sons and an adopted daughter from China. She was also able to publish her book, The Testing of Luther Albright, which won an American Book Award in 2006.
Their long marriage, unfortunately, came to an end. They announced their decision in January 2019, and the divorce was finalized on April 4, 2019. Jeff kept 75% of the couple’s Amazon stocks, while MacKenzie got $35.6 billion worth of shares. This decreased Jeff’s stake from 16% to 12%.
Fresh off the divorce, MacKenzie did something that her former husband hasn’t done yet: sign up for the Giving Pledge. Launched by billionaires Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates, it aims to encourage the world’s wealthiest to pledge a majority of the fortunes to charity.
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