Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com Inc and the fourth-richest person in the world, said he plans to give away the bulk of his fortune during his lifetime.
Bezos will devote the money to fighting climate change and supporting people who can unify humanity in the face of deep social and political divisions, he told CNN, the first time the billionaire has committed to such a pledge.
Bezos is worth $123.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a fortune that has declined almost $70 billion this year, but has surged in the past decade as his e-commerce giant surged past rivals.
Critics have chided Bezos, 58, for not signing the Giving Pledge, a promise by many of the world’s richest people to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes. For years he largely stayed on the philanthropy sidelines, instead focusing on Amazon and Blue Origin, his for-profit space-exploration company.
But in recent years Bezos has committed billions of dollars to charity and has increased the pace of his giving since stepping down as Amazon chief executive officer last year.
His ex-wife MacKenzie Scott has sent more than $12 billion to nonprofits since the two split in 2019, mostly focusing on smaller charities in the US that are often overlooked by larger donors.
Bezos has set his attention on climate change with his $10 billion Earth Fund and also announced a $200 million gift to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
He just gave music legend Dolly Parton $100 million to direct to any charities she chooses as part of the Courage and Civility award, announcing the prize alongside his partner Lauren Sanchez.
Bezos is also said to be interested in acquiring the the NFL’s Washington Commanders, possibly with music mogul Jay-Z as an investor.