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Novelist MacKenzie Scott (R) with her former husband, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, at a 2018 awards ceremony in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Jorg Carstensen/DPA/AFP via Getty Images

Novelist MacKenzie Scott revealed in a Medium blog post Tuesday that she's given $1.7 billion to charity over the past year since her divorce from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

Details: Donations have mainly gone to social justice and public health organizations, along with groups fighting climate change. "Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror," Scott writes.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Among the recipients are the Obama Foundation, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the historically black college Tuskegee University.
  • "My own reflection after recent events revealed a dividend of privilege I'd been overlooking: the attention I can call to organizations and leaders driving change," Scott added, pledging to highlight more donations as her "giving continues in the months and years to come."

Why it matters: Scott places 13th on the Bloomberg Billionaire's Index, with an estimated net worth of over $59 billion.

  • Scott notes she agreed last year to "give the majority of my wealth back to the society that helped generate it," after signing up to Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates' Giving Pledge campaign.
  • Billionaires who’ve taken the pledge "are liable to charges that they are using philanthropy to influence society without doing anything to address the underlying causes of inequality — or paying their fair share of taxes," noted David McCabe, writing for Axios when she signed up for the initiative last year.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Nov 4, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Filling in the blanks on where Jeff Bezos' $10 billion climate fund is going

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Atlantic has begun solving a big mystery in climate advocacy circles — how Jeff Bezos will spread around money from the $10 billion "Bezos Earth Fund" announced in February.

Why it matters: The fund's size makes it a huge presence in climate philanthropy. And, until now, the fund has been a mysterious presence, given the dearth of info and the broad scope of funding areas.

2 hours ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

Crypto leads to massive surge in online scams

Expand chart
Reproduced from FTC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bogus cryptocurrency investments led to an unprecedented increase in online scams last year, according to new data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Why it matters: Cryptocurrency is an easy target because while it's surging in popularity, there's still a lot of confusion about how it works.