Mackenzie Scott lauded for charity work as ex-husband Jeff Bezos blasted off to space
Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man, officially became an astronaut after successfully launching into space on his 'New Shepard' rocket, flying 66 miles above the Earth's surface, and returning back safely on a reusable capsule. While the Amazon founder's feat was celebrated by many, his critics slammed the billion-dollar expedition and showered praise on his ex-wife Mackenzie Scott for her billion-dollar charity contributions instead.
Bezos, 57, took the revolutionary trip with his brother Mark, Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen, 18, who became the youngest person in space, and former NASA trainee Wally Funk, 82, who became the oldest woman in space. Originally scheduled for 9 am EDT, the launch was delayed by 12 minutes and reached space at 9.16 am EDT to clamor and cheers from the crew on the ground.
MacKenzie Scott has reportedly spent more than $8.5 billion in charitable contributions to nearly 800 nonprofits since last June. According to an analysis by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Scott said most of the organizations received gifts and she left it up to the groups to decide whether to publicize how much she gave.
Critics of Jeff Bezos lauded his ex-wife for her philanthropy while accusing the Amazon founder of spending millions of dollars on a 'vanity project'. "I hope Mackenzie Scott announces she is giving $10 billion to pay off American’s medical debt right as the ex is taking off," author Jonathan Rosen tweeted. "This would be one hell of a day for MacKenzie Scott to announce another multi-billion-dollar set of donations," author Hemant Mehta added. "The only Bezos that impresses me is @mackenziescott. She's donated more than $8 billion to charities in a year. #BlueOrigin and space tourism do not impress me and I'm a total space geek," one Twitter user wrote. "I hope MacKenzie Scott gives away 10 billion dollars today just to spite Jeff," another added. "It’d be interesting to know on the day Bezos went to space on a vanity project how much money MacKenzie Scott gave to benefit humanity," a third chimed in. "Jeff Bezos spent $5.5 billion and more than twenty years so that he can briefly travel to space. MacKenzie Scott gave away $8 billion in less than a year to change other people’s lives forever," a fourth added. "Just a reminder as Bezos goes off into space. Mackenzie Scott has given $4.1 billion to colleges serving mostly Black, Brown, Indigenous students She’s already won so we can stop pretending it was between Bezos and Branson, Mackenzie Scott is the real MVP," another chimed in.
I hope Mackenzie Scott announces she is giving $10 billion to pay off American’s medical debt right as the ex is taking off.— Jonathan Rosen (@JonathanRosenBR) July 20, 2021
This would be one hell of a day for MacKenzie Scott to announce another multi-billion-dollar set of donations.— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) July 20, 2021
I hope MacKenzie Scott gives away 10 billion dollars today just to spite Jeff.— 🌸bone morph🌸 (@bonemorph) July 20, 2021
It’d be interesting to know on the day Bezos went to space on a vanity project how much money MacKenzie Scott gave to benefit humanity.— 8 rusty staples (@8rustystaples) July 20, 2021
Jeff Bezos spent $5.5 billion and more than twenty years so that he can briefly travel to space.— gettingsome (@gettingsome) July 20, 2021
MacKenzie Scott gave away $8 billion in less than a year to change other people’s lives forever.
Just a reminder as Bezos goes off into space. Mackenzie Scott has give $4.1 billion to colleges serving mostly Black, Brown, Indigenous students 🚀😘— jennthetutor 🎓 👩🏾🏫 #TestFreeNow (she/her) (@jennthetutor) July 20, 2021
She’s already won so we can stop pretending it was between Bezos and Branson
Mackenzie Scott is the real MVP ✊🏾
According to The Chronicle, Scott gave almost $1.5 billion to 62 colleges and universities, out of which $503 million went to 21 historically Black colleges and universities and a total of $429 million to 22 community colleges. Among these, three higher education institutes that received the most in donations were Prairie View A&M University, which got $50 million, and historically Black institutions North Carolina A&T State University and Indian River State College received $45 million each. Scott has also given a lot to social-service charities. Nearly 90 institutions that received a total of $100 million focused on causes including direct relief to people affected by the pandemic; feeding the hungry; advancing racial equity and social justice efforts in low-income neighborhoods. They also have several economic development programs helping women, girls, and families.
That said, the largest gift Scott made to a social service group was $40 million to Local Initiatives Support Corporation. According to The Chronicle, the organization furnishes loans, grants, and management assistance to local charities. Meanwhile, 20 other social service groups received anywhere from $15 million to $25 million each. Aside from the above, Scott has given a total of $94 million to eight community foundations and a total of $51 million divided between seven arts groups.