The union of MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett captured the world’s imagination like a fairy tale—the story of a commoner marrying tech royalty and living happily ever after, all the while bestowing their largesse on an untold number of charitable organizations and philanthropies. Incredibly, it was only three years ago that MacKenzie split from Jeff Bezos as he kindled a new romance with Lauren Sanchez. MacKenzie, meanwhile, reinvented herself post-divorce as a veritable brand name in her own right, signing The Giving Pledge as an individual, sans partner, and quickly deploying billions of dollars in donations—manna-from-heaven moneybombs, revealed biannually on Medium, that electrified the philanthropic world.
MacKenzie became even more of a public fascination when news emerged that she had quietly remarried, in 2021, to Jewett, a head-shaven science teacher at the elite Lakeside School, which the Scott-Bezos kids attended. Indeed, the feel-good story of their elopement only became public knowledge when a Wall Street Journal Amazon beat reporter was alerted to an unannounced change on The Giving Pledge’s then-spartan website.
Fittingly, then, it was also a Giving Pledge website update that revealed that the fairy tale had come to an end: after about 18 months of marriage, Scott and Jewett are getting divorced (the filing is here). Jewett’s Giving Pledge letter—a sweet Princess Bride-esque message about his sudden windfall-by-second-marriage—has disappeared into the ether. I’m guessing Jewett will have some funds for his own work or whatnot, but the big question in the high-dollar charity world—a milieu in which MacKenzie maintains an otherworldly aura—has been what this meant for the world’s greatest philanthropic experiment.