Scott presented an update on that effort Tuesday in a Medium post and also announced that he changed his last name to the middle name he grew up with, following his divorce from Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos last year.
Scott received a quarter of Bezos’ shares in Amazon in the couple’s divorce settlement last year, giving him a 4% stake that was worth more than $ 35 billion at the time. His net worth is currently estimated to be around $ 60 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“Like many, I saw the first half of 2020 with a mix of heartbreak and horror,” Scott wrote. “What fills me with hope is the idea of what will come if each of us reflects on what we can offer.”
The $ 1.7 billion grant was spread across 116 organizations focused on one of nine “areas of need,” he added, including racial equity, LGBTQ + equity, functional democracy and climate change. Among the organizations she supported are the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Obama Foundation, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, RAINN and the European Climate Foundation.
Scott signed the Giving Pledge initiative last year. The initiative, launched by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, encourages the richest people in the world to dedicate most of their wealth to charitable causes, either during their lives or in their wills.
The world’s richest man, Bezos has previously been criticized for not contributing more of his wealth to philanthropy, but has donated billions of dollars in recent years to causes such as climate change and food banks. You have not signed the Donation Pledge.
Scott’s announcement comes a day before Bezos testifies in Congress along with CEOs of Facebook (full board), Google (GOOGL) and Apple (AAPL) to address allegations that their companies are too dominant or have hurt competition.