Everything to Know About MacKenzie Bezos, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos's Soon-to-Be Ex-Wife
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he and his wife MacKenzie are divorcing.
The couple, who have been married for 25 years, said in a joint statement: "We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again."
While most people are familiar with Jeff Bezos (and certainly the ultra-convenient front-door service offered by his company), most aren’t as familiar with his soon-to-be ex-wife. So who is MacKenzie Bezos, and what will the couples’ divorce likely entail?
For starters, MacKenzie is the author of two novels, The Testing of Luther Albright (2005) and Traps (2013). The New York Times Book Review called Mackenzie's debut novel — which won the American Book Award in 2005 — "quietly absorbing" noting, “Indeed, Bezos' articulation of one middle-aged man's interior life is so convincing that at times the book reads like the autobiography of a coward — albeit a coward burdened with hindsight.”
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Prior to publishing her books, Bezos graduated from Princeton University in 1992 and, in 2014, she founded Bystander Revolution, an online anti-bullying resource that offers "advice about simple things individuals can do to defuse bullying and help shift the culture," according to the website.
The couple, who share four children, met in 1993 while working at an investment management firm in New York City, according to People. At the time, MacKenzie was a research associate and Jeff was vice president at the firm. It was MacKenzie who made the first move, according to a 2013 Vogue profile, where she noted that they were engaged after three months of dating.
“My office was next door to his, and all day long I listened to that fabulous laugh,” she told the publication. “How could you not fall in love with that laugh?”
And Jeff — who would take days off from work to read Mackenzie's manuscripts — has a similar admiration for MacKenzie. In the same Vogue interview, he said of her career, “Writing makes her really happy. The days she gets up early to write are always good ones in the Bezos household. By the time I come down, she will be literally dancing in the kitchen, which the kids and I love.”
As for how the divorce will go down, that will remain to be seen. According to CNBC, it may turn out to be the most expensive divorce in history, the result of the reported $137 billion to Jeff's name. The publication noted that Washington state, which is where the couple lives, is a property state, meaning that any wealth acquired during the marriage could result in an even split between the former husband and wife. What does that mean in terms of Amazon? It was founded a year after Jeff and MacKenzie were married, so she could receive half ($66 billion) of the fortune.
But it sounds like the couple won't be harboring any bad feelings about their time together.
"We’ve had such a great life together as a married couple, and we also see wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures," the couple also said in the Twitter statement. "Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends."