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MacKenzie Scott, Billionaire Philanthropist, Files for Divorce


Lower than two years after announcing their intention to present away an enormous fortune together, the billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, a former science teacher, are parting ways.

Ms. Scott filed a petition for divorce within the King County Superior Court in Washington State on Monday, in response to a replica of the filing. The breakup punctuates an eventful period for Ms. Scott, who in lower than 4 years got divorced from her longtime husband, the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, gave away greater than $12 billion to nonprofits and married an instructor at the celebrated school attended by her children.

Court records show Mr. Jewett didn’t contest the divorce. The petition says any division of property is specified by a separation contract, agreed to by the couple, which isn’t public. Each still live in King County, the filing says, which incorporates town of Seattle.

Their marriage, which garnered significant public attention after Ms. Scott’s divorce from the world’s richest man, had also been a philanthropic partnership, with Mr. Jewett publicly promising to affix her in donating their enormous fortune to good causes.

But there have been recent signs that the partnership was no more. Previously, grateful nonprofits that had received grants from Ms. Scott and Mr. Jewett thanked them each, but recent recipients thank her alone.

Prior to now week his name vanished from her philanthropic endeavors. On the positioning for the Giving Pledge, where billionaires promise to present away half of their wealth before they die, his letter not appeared with hers. Without fanfare, his name was recently edited out of a Medium post Ms. Scott had written last 12 months about their gifts.

Ms. Scott, a novelist, also deleted Mr. Jewett from her writer bio on Amazon, the net retailer that’s the source of her vast wealth.

The novelist is probably the most consequential philanthropists on the planet.

She rocketed to global attention as she began making a gift of money at a pace rarely seen within the philanthropic world. After her divorce from Mr. Bezos, Ms. Scott assembled a team of advisers and started quietly making multimillion-dollar donations to nonprofit groups that totaled greater than $12 billion in only three years.

In her May 2019 letter on the Giving Pledge, Ms. Scott promised to “keep at it until the protected is empty.” Bloomberg has estimated her net price as high as $62 billion, but between her billions of dollars in contributions and the decline within the stock market, it now gauges her fortune at $27.8 billion.

Two years later, in his own Giving Pledge letter, Mr. Jewett sounded filled with enthusiasm. “I’m married to probably the most generous and sort people I do know — and joining her in a commitment to pass on an infinite financial wealth to serve others,” he wrote.

Yet he also noted that he had not previously considered making any sort of public statement about his charitable priorities because he had “never sought to collect the sort of wealth required to feel like saying such a thing would have particular meaning.”

As recently as last week, in response to the Web Archive’s Wayback Machine, which preserves old versions of web pages, his letter was still twinned with hers on the positioning, accompanied by a photograph of the 2 of them looking as if they were out for a hike together. Today there’s only a headshot of Ms. Scott, along along with her letter.

Ms. Scott has refused to talk publicly about her giving, declining repeated interview requests from news organizations including The Recent York Times. Her lawyer didn’t reply to requests for comment on Wednesday. Attempts to succeed in Mr. Jewett through friends, family and former colleagues and at an address related to him in Seattle were unsuccessful. His lawyer declined, through a legal assistant, to comment on the divorce.

Ms. Scott made her charitable announcements in long posts on Medium that listed the names of organizations that received billions of dollars cumulatively.

Last month, Ms. Scott gave two homes in Beverly Hills, valued at a combined $55 million, to the California Community Foundation. The muse’s reasonably priced housing grant-making functions will receive 90 percent of the worth of the properties. Mr. Jewett’s name, which had been in recent gift announcements, was nowhere within the news release.

The Health Forward Foundation in Kansas City, Mo., announced on Tuesday that it had received a $15 million gift from Ms. Scott. The Episcopal Health Foundation in Houston also recently announced that it had received a $20 million grant from Ms. Scott. Neither announcement mentioned Mr. Jewett.

Mr. Jewett taught on the Lakeside School, the celebrated Seattle private school attended by the Bezos children, where he was popular amongst students and fellow teachers alike.

“He’s earnest, not very edgy,” said Angela Loihl, who met Mr. Jewett through a mutual friend. Ms. Loihl, who spent weeks in 2014 with Mr. Jewett driving in a small-motored automobile from London to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, recalled how that mutual friend had told her years later, after he married Ms. Scott, “He’s the right person to find yourself with this money to present away — no sense of greed in any respect.”

In accordance with the divorce filing, the couple married in California in 2021. The news of their marriage took even Mr. Jewett’s friends and colleagues by surprise — producing a whirlwind of stories coverage far beyond his expectations, as reporters even appeared on the Lakeside campus. Though he finished the term there, Mr. Jewett felt his presence on campus was a distraction.

His recent wife had grow to be arguably essentially the most influential philanthropist on the planet with an approach that emphasized huge grants — often the most important single gift a bunch had received — with no strings attached.

In his Giving Pledge letter published in March 2021, Mr. Jewett wrote that he was “grateful for the exceptional privilege it is going to be to partner in making a gift of assets with the potential to achieve this much good when shared.”

In June 2021, Ms. Scott posted about her giving on Medium, where she wrote: “Me, Dan, a constellation of researchers and administrators and advisers — we’re all attempting to present away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change.” Sometime previously week, searches on the Web Archive showed, the post was edited, and Mr. Jewett’s name faraway from there as well.

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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