Congratulations are in order to a Mr. Dan Jewett, a heretofore anonymous science teacher who has recently wed Mackenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and one of the wealthiest women in the world.
Jewett announced his recent nuptials in a letter published Saturday by the Giving Pledge, a philanthropy organization for the ultra-wealthy, the Wall Street Journal reported. Scott signed onto the organization after her 2019 split from Bezos left her with a four percent stake in Amazon worth more than $35 billion. Upon joining the Giving Pledge, Scott vowed to give away more than half her wealth, and has since been busy pouring her $53.5 billion net worth into charitable endeavors. In a December blog post, Scott said she had donated nearly $4.2 billion over the course of a few months to support struggling Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This means that Jewett has married into a colossal amount of wealth, because apparently after years as the bride of a billionaire super-villain, you just want to settle down and live a quiet life with a local teacher, except with billions of dollars. Unfortunately for Jewett, marrying into Scott’s billions means he has also married into her philanthropy. In the Giving Pledge letter published Monday, Jewett announced he would be joining his new wife in her pledge to give away the majority of the couple’s wealth.
“It is strange to be writing a letter indicating I plan to give away the majority of my wealth during my lifetime, as I have never sought to gather the kind of wealth required to feel like saying such a thing would have particular meaning,” Jewett wrote. “And now, in a stroke of happy coincidence, I am married to one of the most generous and kind people I know — and joining her in a commitment to pass on an enormous financial wealth to serve others.”
Jewett seems more than content with this state of affairs, which is good for him. Unlike Jewett, however, I am what we might call a bad person, which means that I would be shocked and dismayed if, after stumbling into a fortuitous union with one of the world’s wealthiest people, that person then decided to give all their money away. As someone who was neither born into wealth nor has entered a career field in which I am terribly likely to accrue it, my only real chance of striking it rich is to marry money. While I can’t say this is a goal I am actively pursuing — because the horror of committing to another human being, even a very rich one, still outweighs the benefits of gaining access to their wealth in most scenarios I can imagine — it’s probably one I would take advantage of should such a “stroke of happy coincidence” happen to present itself.
So congratulations to Scott and her new husband on ostensibly being better people than me, but you’ll have to forgive me if the idea of going through all the trouble to bag myself a billionaire just to have that billionaire decide they’re going to give their money away to someone who is not me makes me physically ill. All this to say that if Jeff Bezos were to do me the honor of making me his next ex-wife, I would at least have the decency to respect his legacy by not signing the Giving Pledge and instead hoarding my Bezos billions as the world burns.
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