Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said that he would give away most of his money to charity, making him the latest billionaire to pledge to donate his vast fortune during his lifetime.
Mr. Bezos is worth $124 billion, making him the world’s fourth-richest person, according to Bloomberg. In an interview with CNN released on Monday, Mr. Bezos, appearing with his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, said they were making preparations “to be able to give away this money.”
He said that he wanted to give in a way that maximized the impact of the donations. “It’s really hard and there are a bunch of ways, I think, that you could do ineffective things,” he said.
It was the first time that Mr. Bezos announced that he, like several other billionaires, would give away the bulk of his wealth. In 2020, Mr. Bezos pledged to give $10 billion to combat climate change as part of an initiative called the Bezos Earth Fund. Previously, his largest donation was a $2 billion gift to help homeless families and start preschools.
On Saturday, the couple announced a $100 million grant for the singer and philanthropist Dolly Parton to direct to her chosen charitable causes, as part of an annual gift called the Bezos Award for Courage and Civility.
Mr. Bezos has been criticized for not signing the Giving Pledge, a commitment by many of the wealthiest Americans to give away at least half their fortunes, started in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett and others. (Mr. Bezos did not address the Giving Pledge in the CNN interview.) Mr. Bezos’s ex-wife, the author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, in 2019 signed the pledge after their divorce.
Ms. Scott, who is estimated by Bloomberg to be worth $24 billion, has donated more than $12 billion to causes ranging from education to mental health. Ms. Scott, who recently filed for divorce from her second husband, had given to more than 1,200 groups as of March.