World’s Richest Man, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos, Has Given Just 0.09 Percent Of His Fortune To Charity

Phillip FaraoneGetty Images for WIRED25

Jeff Bezos may be the richest man in the world, but a new report indicates he might also be the stingiest.

The Amazon founder is worth a reported $160 billion fortune, but has given a comparatively tiny sun to philanthropic causes over the course of his career. As the New York Post reported, the 55-year-old Bezos has given just $145 million to charity, which equates to roughly 0.09 percent of his entire net worth.

For comparison, Bill and Melinda Gates have given away 37 percent of their fortune while Warren Buffet has given 36 percent of his wealth, the Daily Mail noted.

The New York Post report added that Bezos went nearly a decade before finally making a donation to his family’s foundation, and he hasn’t opened up much since then.

“As his wealth climbed, Bezos continued to keep a tight rein on his cash, at least when it came to his family charity,” the report noted. “In 2015, the year his wealth took a nearly $30 billion leap and his net worth shot up to $58.4 billion, the family foundation received a total of $5,002,590 in Amazon stock from Jeff and MacKenzie, public records show.”

The issue of Bezos’s charitable giving came up recently as Amazon announced it would be setting up a corporate headquarters in Long Island City, which is just outside of Queens. The project called for taxpayer-funded incentives, which drew the ire of some local representatives.

“The record of both Amazon and Jeff Bezos reveals that they are takers, not givers,” said Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “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.”

The report noted that Bezos came in even under Donald Trump, who became notorious for being stingy when it came to charitable causes and recently was forced to fold up his own foundation after a lawsuit from the state of New York said it served as nothing more than a personal bank account for Trump himself. Reports noted that Trump used money from his foundation to make repairs at his resorts and to settle a compliance issue at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

While he may be one of the stingiest billionaires to date, Jeff Bezos could soon be improving in just a short time. He and estranged wife MacKenzie have pledged $2 billion to a new charitable endeavor, the New York Post reported.