Money & Power

Who Is Jeff Bezos's Soon-to-Be Ex-Wife, Novelist MacKenzie Bezos?

Here's everything you need to know about one half of the world's richest couple.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES / DAVID LIVINGSTON
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Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world. But while Jeff has been in the spotlight for years thanks to his founding of the retail giant Amazon, the other half of the world's wealthiest couple, MacKenzie Bezos, has largely stayed out of the spotlight.

That fact has changed in recent weeks since the couple announced their plans to divorce, quickly followed by an expose published by the National Enquirer detailing Jeff's ongoing affair with Lauren Sanchez. While debate rages on about the nature of their divorce, MacKenzie has remained largely silent. But who is the woman behind the man behind the Amazon retail empire? Here's everything you need to know.

SHE IS A NOVELIST.

Bezos started writing at a young age, describing in her Amazon author page, a 142-page chapter book she wrote when she was just six-years-old. She studied creative writing at Princeton and has since authored two novels: 2005's critically-acclaimed The Testing of Luther Albright, which won the American Book Award, and 2013's Traps.

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SHE EVEN STUDIED UNDER TONI MORRISON.

The Nobel Prize-winning novelist hired Bezos as a research assistant for her 1992 novel Jazz when Bezos was a student at Princeton. Morrison referred to Bezos as "one of the best students I’ve ever had in my creative-writing classes ... really one of the best," to Vogue and even helped Bezos find a literary agent.

MACKENZIE MET JEFF BEZOS WHILE WORKING AT A HEDGE FUND.

MacKenzie was reportedly the first person Jeff interviewed for administrative assistant position at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw & Co. in New York, which she took to pay the bills while working on her novels. MacKenzie, who was 23 to Jeff's 30, was quickly infatuated.

“My office was next door to his, and all day long I listened to that fabulous laugh,” she told Vogue in 2013. “How could you not fall in love with that laugh?”

The two were engaged within three months of their first date and married in 1993.

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SHE WAS HEAVILY INVOLVED IN GETTING AMAZON OFF THE GROUND.

According to The Everything Store by Brad Stone, after the Bezoses moved to Seattle in 1994 to start the business, MacKenzie worked as one of Amazon's first accountants, shipped some of their early orders, and even helped in brainstorming names for the fledgling company. She later reportedly stepped back to focus on her writing when the brand began to find success.

(It should be noted that MacKenzie wrote a one-star review for The Everything Store on Amazon upon its publication, referencing its “numerous factual inaccuracies,” though that accusation has been debated elsewhere.)

TOGETHER MACKENZIE AND JEFF HAVE THREE SONS AND ONE DAUGHTER WHO THEY ADOPTED FROM CHINA.

Though the Bezos parents are famously private about their kids' lives, MacKenzie told Vogue that both she and Jeff are hands-on in raising their children and have experimented with a variety of parenting and education techniques. “We tried all sorts of things,” she said, “including off-season travel, kitchen-science experiments, chicken incubation, Mandarin lessons, the Singapore math program, and lots of clubs and sports with other neighborhood kids.”

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IN JANUARY 2019, SHE JOINTLY ANNOUNCED HER DIVORCE FROM JEFF BEZOS.

In a tweet from Jeff's account on January 9, 2019, the couple went public with their pending divorce. "We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends," reads the tweet, which is signed with both of their names.

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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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