For the world’s richest man, charity begins — and stays — at home.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has given only a tiny fraction of his $160 billion fortune to philanthropic causes, falling far behind fellow billionaires such as Bill and Melinda Gates and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, public records show.
Although Bezos, 55, and his estranged wife, MacKenzie, recently pledged $2 billion to a new charitable initiative, their previous giving amounts to a total of just over $145 million or .0906 percent — far less than 1 percent — of their net worth. Out of $100,000, that would be like spending $90.06 on charity.
“The record of both Amazon and Jeff Bezos reveals that they are takers, not givers,” said Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, whose district includes Long Island City, where Amazon plans to set up a corporate headquarters. “When they make promises of how generous they will be, I look at what they have done in the past to know what the truth really is.”
Over nearly two decades, Jeff Bezos has given paltry donations to the Bezos Family Foundation, a charity that was started by his parents in Washington state in September 2000, state incorporation filings show.
Between 2000 and 2017, Bezos contributed just under $6 million to the group that Jacklyn and Miguel Bezos kickstarted with $20,000.
Ma and Pa Bezos, who were early investors in their son’s fledgling company in 1995, are worth as much as $30 billion today.
In 2004, Bezos, who had already amassed a net worth of just over $2 billion, joined the board of his parents’ nonprofit, along with his wife and siblings Mark and Lisa and their respective partners, according to tax filings for the group reviewed by The Post.
But it was the parents who continued to finance the nonprofit, mainly through donations of Amazon stock. In 2017, Jacklyn and Miguel Bezos contributed $30,266,250 in stock to their charity, public documents show. (The foundation makes donations to educational initiatives in the US and around the world.)
It wasn’t until 2011 that Jeff Bezos, whose wealth had shot up to more than $18 billion, finally gave his first contribution to the Bezos Family Foundation: $940,538 in Amazon stock through Zefram LLC, a company that he controls, federal filings show.