Who is MacKenzie Scott?
MacKenzie Scott is an American novelist, philanthropist and ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com. She pursued her degree in English under the famous writer and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, under whom she continued to train and research after college. Her work has been recognised by the ‘American Book Award’ for ‘Outstanding Literary Achievement’ in 2006. MacKenzie Scott and Jeff Bezos have been most supportive of each other’s careers. Her one-star review of the book The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone was well appreciated as it brought out the inadequacies in the publication that she felt did not give the correct picture of her husband’s enterprise. Jeff and MacKenzie have four children together and they got divorced in 2019. She supports several charities and has committed to give at least half of her wealth to charity. In 2021, she got married to Dan Jewitt, a high school teacher.
Childhood & Early Life
MacKenzie Scott Tuttle was born on April 7, 1970 in San Francisco, California, USA. Her father was a financial planner and her mother was a homemaker. She did her high school from Hotchkiss High School, Connecticut, from where she graduated in 1988.
As a child, she loved literature and writing stories. Her parents encouraged her by giving her the best of education for someone who wanted to pursue journalism. Her first attempt at writing was at the age of six when she wrote a 142-page manuscript book that she called The Book Worm.
She went on to do her bachelor’s degree, with honours, in English from Princeton University in 1992. She was one of the brightest students in the class of the famous novelist, Toni Morrison, and excelled in creative writing. As per Toni Morrison, MacKenzie was the best student she has ever had in her class.
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MacKenzie Scott started her career doing a variety of jobs including research assistant to Tony Morrison, which was a great learning experience after college. She considers Tony Morrison her guru.
Her first book, The Testing of Luther Albright, took her almost ten years to complete. This was the period in which she was helping her husband set up Amazon.com and they were also busy bringing up their four children through their formative years. The book is about the testing times in the life of a devoted father when his job and family come under threat. The book was an instant success and received favourable reviews.
Her second book, Traps, has the makings of a Hollywood thriller. The story revolves around four women from different walks of life who encounter each other on a four-day road trip. MacKanzie maintained her style of interweaving a variety of characters in her story.
MacKenzie Scott has always been very objective in her writing. In 2013, she wrote a review of the book The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon’ by Brad Stone for ‘Bloomberg Businessweek’ and gave it a one-star rating. Her review was titled ‘An Amazon.com Review’, which brought out the inaccuracies and misrepresentations of the work culture in Amazon.com as brought out by Brad Stone. The review received mixed reactions. One of Amazon’s first employees, Shel Kaphan, followed MacKenzie with a four-star review of Brad Stone’s account about Amazon.com to contradict her.
Though Brad did not totally agree with her, he said he was grateful for the feedback on his book. Her major observation was that the book suggested that Bezos left DE Shaw to pursue his new idea of online marketing after reading the prize-winning novel, The Remains of the Day, while that was not the case as he read the book much later.
She has been an activist by nature and is known to always support the oppressed. In 2014, she founded the ‘Bystander Revolution’, which is an anti-bullying organization. It has a website that includes hundreds of unscripted videos with students, celebrities and experts talking about how to deal with bullying. Today, she is the executive director of the foundation and is actively involved in its functioning.
Her major works as an author include The Testing of Luther Albright (2005) and Traps (2013).
She also published the single star review of the book ‘The Everything Store : Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon’ by Brad Stone.
Awards & Achievements
MacKenzie Scott was awarded the 2006 ‘American Book Award’ for ‘Outstanding Literary Achievement’ in recognition of her novel The Testing of Luther Albright. The book was also named ‘Los Angeles Times’ book of the year.
Family & Personal Life
MacKenzie Scott met Jeff Bezos while working under him at the New York City hedge fund company, DE Shaw. They fell in love and got married in 1993, after a brief courtship. Thereafter, they moved to Seattle, Washington. It was here that her husband started his venture of online marketing and later founded the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon.com. They have three sons and an adopted daughter.
In January 2019, the couple announced their intention to separate and their divorce got finalized on April 4, 2019. As part of divorce deal, MacKenzie Scott got 25%in Amazon stock, which was worth $35.6 billion at that time, making her the third richest woman in the world.
In 2021, she got married to Dan Jewitt, a high school science teacher and presently lives in Seattle with him and her four children.
She is a signatory to ‘Giving Pledge’ campaign and has pledged to donate at least half of her wealth to charity.