Jeff Bezos Says He’s Giving Away Most Of His $124 Billion Fortune

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has said for the first time that he plans to give away most of his huge fortune.
Credit: Alamy

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has said that he plans to give away most of his massive fortune.

Bezos, 58, is currently the fourth richest person in the world and boasts a whopping fortune of around $124 billion. 

Having worked in telecommunications early on in his career, he founded the then-book-store Amazon out of a rented garage in 1994.

By 1998, he had diversified into the online sale of music and video, before developing the site into the global e-commerce giant that it is today.

Watch as Jeff Bezos talks about his 2021 journey into space…

Bezos was the richest person in the world between 2017 and 2021.

Harbouring a keen interest in space exploration and travel, he founded space tourism company Blue Origin in 2000 – two years before Elon Musk founded SpaceX.

Since 2016, Bezos has been selling around $1 billion worth of Amazon stock each year in order to support his endeavour, which saw him and his brother Mark travel into space aboard one of Blue Origin’s spacecraft last year.

His NS-16 mission launched nine days after fellow billionaire Richard Branson went to space onboard the Virgin Galactic Unity 22 mission.

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On November 14, it was announced that legendary country music artist Dolly Parton had been given a $100 million courtesy of Bezos.

The ‘Jolene’ singer, 76, was the recipient of the Bezos Courage and Civility Award, which recognises ‘leaders’ who ‘pursue solutions with courage and civility’.

In an Instagram post, Bezos’ girlfriend, journalist-turned-philanthropist Lauren Sanchez, 52, said that the couple ‘can’t wait’ to see what good Parton does with the $100 million prize money.

In a video of the ceremony posted on Twitter, Parton said: “Wow! Did you say $100m?”

She added: “I think people who are in a position to help should put their money where their heart is.

“I will do my best to do good things with this money.”

Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos has confirmed for the first time that he intends to give away most of his huge fortune. Credit: Alamy

Now, in an interview with CNN, Bezos was asked if he intended to give away most of his wealth within his lifetime, to which Bezos replied: “Yeah, I do.”

Not specifying which organisations, or who exactly might benefit from the donations, he added: “The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way.”

He went on to say that he and Sanchez were now ‘building the capacity to be able to give away this money’.

The billionaire added that he intends to donate his money to fighting climate change and reducing inequality.

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Bezos has been criticised in the past for not promising to donate his massive fortune to charity.

In 2020, he announced the founding of the Bezos Earth Fund, which grants $10 billion over 10 years to activists, scientists and non-governmental organisations in order to help ‘preserve and protect the natural world’.

Bezos now owns just 10 per cent of Amazon shares – which is worth a cool $90 billion. He also owns The Washington Post. 

He stepped down as CEO of Amazon last summer and was succeeded by Andy Jassy.

Currently ahead of him on the world’s rich list are Elon Musk ($200 billion), Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) CEO Bernard Arnault ($175 billion) and tycoon Gautam Adani ($147 billion).

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Written by Cal Gaunt

Cal is a former content editor at IGV who specialised in writing trending and entertainment news. He previously worked as a news reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph and earned an NCTJ in Sports Journalism.