Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Jeff Bezos vows to give away most of fortune and hands Dolly Parton $100m

Jeff Bezos vows to give away most of fortune and hands Dolly Parton $100m


Jeff Bezos vows to give away most of fortune  and hands Dolly Parton $100m

Jeff Bezos has promised to give away the vast majority of his $124bn (£110bn) fortune during his lifetime, but admitted that ensuring that the most worthy causes benefit is proving as difficult as building his Amazon empire.

The 58-year-old, the world's fourth richest person, according to Forbes billionaires list, made the pledge after giving $100m to the country singer Dolly Parton to give to charities of her choice as part of Bezos's annual Courage and Civility award.

"Conflict travels, conflict is interesting and people do focus on conflict," said Bezos, discussing the award to the 9 to 5 singer in an interview with CNN. "[I] want to bring a little bit of light, a little bit of amplification to these people who use unity instead of conflict."

Bezos, who has built Amazon from a startup in a rented garage into a $1tn global business, has in the past been criticised for his relative lack of largesse toward charitable causes compared with some fellow billionaires.

Bezos is not a signatory to the Giving Pledge, which encourages the world's wealthiest to give half their net worth to philanthropy and was set up by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. It has attracted more than 230 signatories including Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg.

Bezos and his partner, the journalist turned philanthropist Lauren Sánchez, who he began dating in 2019 shortly after announcing his divorce from his wife of 25 years, said they were considering the best way to distribute his wealth to good causes.

"The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way - it is not easy," he said. "Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work and a bunch of very smart teammates. Philanthropy is very similar. It is really hard and there are a bunch of ways you can do ineffective things, too. We are building the capacity to be able to give away this money."

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