Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plans to give away most of his $124 billion during his lifetime, saying in an exclusive interview with CNN that he will dedicate most of his fortune to fighting climate change and supporting people who can unite humanity in the face of deep social and political divisions.
While Bezos’ pledge didn’t include specifics, it’s the first time he’s announced he plans to give away most of the money. Critics reproached Bezos for not signing The Giving Pledge, a pledge founded by Bill Gates for hundreds of the world’s richest people to donate most of their wealth to charitable causes.
Bezos, speaking with his partner, journalist and philanthropist Lauren Sánchez, on Saturday at his home in Washington, D.C., said the couple is “building the capacity to be able to give that money away.”
Asked directly by CNN if he intended to give away most of his fortune during his lifetime, Bezos replied, “Yes, I do.”
“The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way…It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work, a bunch of very smart teammates, hard-working teammates, and I’m finding — and I think Lauren is finding the same thing — that charity, philanthropy, is very similar,” the billionaire added.
Bezos said he and Sánchez agreed to their first joint interview since they began dating in 2019 to help raise awareness for the Bezos Award for Courage and Civility, given this year to musician Dolly Parton.
The 20-minute exchange between Bezos and Sánchez covered a wide range of topics, from Bezos’ views on political dialogue and a possible economic recession to Sánchez’s plans to visit space with an all-female crew and her thoughts on a successful business partnership with Bezos.