MacKenzie Scott, previously known as MacKenzie Tuttle and MacKenzie Bezos, is an American philanthropist and novelist. She currently possesses a net worth of $27 billion, which is primarily derived from her 4% stake in Amazon – the company co-founded by her former husband, Jeff Bezos. This makes her the third-richest woman in the United States and the 35th-richest person globally as of December 2022. Forbes recognized Scott as one of the world’s most powerful women in 2021, while Time included her in their list of the 100 most influential people in 2020.
MacKenzie Scott Tuttle was born on April 7, 1970, in San Francisco, California. Her parents are Holiday Robin (née Cuming), a homemaker, and Jason Baker Tuttle, a financial planner. She has two brothers. She was named after her maternal grandfather, G. Scott Cuming, who worked as an executive and general counsel at El Paso Natural Gas. At the age of six, she wrote a 142-page book called The Book Worm, which was unfortunately destroyed in a flood.
After graduating from the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, in 1988, Tuttle earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University in 1992. While studying at Princeton, she had the opportunity to learn from Nobel Laureate in Literature Toni Morrison, who described Tuttle as “one of the best students I’ve ever had in my creative writing classes”.
After college, Scott worked as a research assistant for a hedge fund and later as a writer for various publications, including the Los Angeles Times and The New York Observer. In 1993, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in fiction writing and published her first novel, “The Testing of Luther Albright,” in 2005. The book won the 2006 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.
Scott’s life changed significantly in 1993 when she met Jeff Bezos, who was then a vice president at the investment firm D. E. Shaw. The two were married in 1993 and moved to Seattle, where Bezos founded Amazon in 1994. Scott played a significant role in Amazon’s early success, serving as one of the company’s first employees and helping to develop its first business plan.
Scott and Bezos announced their divorce in January 2019, after 25 years of marriage. As part of the divorce settlement, Scott received a 4% stake in Amazon, which at the time was valued at approximately $36 billion. Since then, Scott has become one of the most prominent philanthropists in the world, giving away billions of dollars to various causes.
Following her graduation from college, Tuttle served as a research assistant to Morrison for her novel Jazz in 1992. Additionally, she worked in an administrative capacity for the hedge fund D. E. Shaw in New York City, where she crossed paths with Jeff Bezos.
Amazon: Scott and Bezos tied the knot in 1993, and the following year, they left D.E. Shaw and relocated to Seattle, where they launched Amazon in 1994. As one of Amazon’s initial employees, Scott played a crucial role in the company’s early days. She worked on various aspects, such as naming the company, developing the business plan, managing accounts, overseeing the shipment of initial orders, and even negotiating Amazon’s first freight contract. However, after 1996, she gradually reduced her involvement in the business to concentrate more on her family and literary career.
Literary career: In 2005, Scott authored her first novel, The Testing of Luther Albright, which earned her an American Book Award in 2006. She devoted ten years to crafting the novel while also helping Bezos build Amazon and raising their three children. Her former instructor, Toni Morrison, praised the book as “a rarity: a sophisticated novel that breaks and swells the heart.” Scott’s second book, Traps, was released in 2013. Although her books sold modestly, according to NPD BookScan.
In July 2020, Scott announced that she had given away $1.7 billion to 116 organizations in the United States, focusing on areas such as racial equity, LGBTQ+ rights, and economic mobility. In December of the same year, she announced that she had given away an additional $4.2 billion to 384 organizations. Her giving has focused on a variety of issues, including education, environmentalism, and public health.
Scott’s philanthropy has been praised for its speed and scale, as well as its focus on smaller organizations that often receive less attention and funding from larger foundations. She has also been vocal about the need for philanthropy to be more responsive and accountable to the needs of communities it serves.
As of September 2021, MacKenzie Scott’s net worth was estimated at around $62 billion USD. However, it’s important to note that her net worth fluctuates with changes in the stock prices of Amazon, as she holds a significant stake in the company.
MacKenzie Scott has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career. Here are some of her notable achievements and awards:
Scott’s philanthropic efforts have been widely recognized, and her donations have been instrumental in supporting numerous nonprofit organizations working to address some of the world’s most pressing issues.