But as Ms. Scott’s fame of giving money has grown, so have the appeals for gifts from strangers and old friends. That clamor may have driven Ms Scott’s already prudent operation further underground, with recent philanthropic announcements akin to a sudden lightning bolt for unsuspecting recipients.
Ms Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, a chemistry teacher, were met with silence by phone, email and letter, directly and through intermediaries leading up to this article.
Instead, The New York Times relied on interviews with more than two dozen friends, teachers, former colleagues and acquaintances from every chapter of her life, as well as public records and rare interviews given by Ms. Scott, usually at the time of publication. In conjunction with one of his novels. The article also draws on previously unpublished letters between Ms Scott and Morrison, kept in the collection of the Nobel laureate in the library of Princeton University.
“I guess the only way I’ll know is No What works for me in life is to try,” she wrote to Ms. Morrison in September 1992, months after graduation and at a pivotal moment for her future. proved more gruesome in comparison, leaving her too tired to write.
“I found myself with unpredictable and short periods of time, during which I either collapsed from exhaustion and desperation, or groaned at the excruciating monotony of making and selling sandwiches,” she wrote, “and worried about how How can I pay my rent with the nickel they gave me in exchange for my ennui.”
A week earlier, she started working at an investment firm with her future husband, Mr. Bezos.
According to Forbes magazine, after three decades of worrying about rent, and even in the wake of her recent gifts, 52-year-old Ms Scott is now worth nearly $50 billion. She set about spreading her vast fortune to charities and nonprofits with unprecedented speed and directness, while trying to keep herself out of the limelight, with an emphasis on advancing social justice and combating inequality. has done.
“Placing big donors at the center of stories on social progress is a distortion of their role,” he wrote in an essay last year.