Billionaire Bezos joins the philanthropy game
The world’s second-richest man, Jeff Bezos, told CNN during an interview on Monday that he plans to give away most of his money during his lifetime. The 58-year-old billionaire says he will donate the bulk of his wealth to charity as well as using it to fight climate change.
Asked directly whether he planned to give away most of his money, Bezos responded: “Yeah, I do.”
He also told the media outlet that he and his girlfriend, journalist-turned-philanthropist Lauren Sanchez, were “building the capacity to be able to give away this money.”
The billionaire declined to state a specific percentage or provide concrete details about where his fortune would likely be spent. He is currently worth about $124 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bezos has been criticized in the past for not signing the so-called ‘Giving Pledge’ campaign. It was founded by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates a decade ago to encourage their fellow billionaires to contribute most of their wealth to charity. Since then, hundreds of billionaires have signed on, including Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Bezos’ ex-wife Mackenzie Bezos, and more than $500 billion has been pledged.
However, some critics of the initiative point out that, despite their commitment to give at least half of their fortunes away, Gates and Buffett are now both richer than when they made their pledge. In 2019, Gates’ fortune exceeded $100 billion. Some have also raised concerns that the Giving Pledge could serve as a tax haven for the wealthy, and a way of setting up trusts for their children.
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