Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' ex-wife has quietly announced her new last name alongside details of her incredible philanthropy.

MacKenzie Bezos became an overnight billionaire last April after finalising her divorce from her husband of 25 years, who has an estimated net worth of around US$180 billion ($270 billion), making him the world's richest man.

The successful author pocketed US$38 billion ($57 billion) in the settlement, instantly becoming the third richest woman on the planet.

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But soon after, she shocked many by announcing her plans to donate at least half of her wealth to worthy causes during her lifespan.

The mum-of-four signed up to the Giving Pledge campaign – an initiative founded by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates which encourages the world's wealthiest people to dedicate most of their fortunes to worthy causes.

"We each come by the gifts we have to offer by an infinite series of influences and lucky breaks we can never fully understand," she said in a statement at the time.

"In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share.

"My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won't wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty."

Now, just 14 months later, she revealed in a Medium blog post the 116 non-profits she had so far chosen to donate to, based on their "transformative work" in certain areas of need.

Of the US$1.7 billion ($2.5 billion) total, she has donated US$586 million ($878 million) to organisations devoted to racial equity, US$399 million ($598 million) for those tackling economic mobility, US$133 million ($199 million) for gender equity, US$130 million ($195 million) for global development, US$128 million ($192 million) for public health, US$125 million ($187 million) for climate change, US$72 million ($108 million) for functional democracy, US$55 million ($82 million) for empathy and bridging divides and US$46 million ($69 million) for LGBTQ+ equity.

She also explained she had changed her surname to Scott, which was the middle name she grew up with, "after my grandfather Scott".

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Ms Scott explained that she had watched the events of 2020 "with a mixture of heartbreak and horror" and reflected on the "social structures which present opportunities to some people, and obstacles to countless others".

"What fills me with hope is the thought of what will come if each of us reflects on what we can offer," she wrote.

"Opportunities that flowed from the mere chance of skin colour, sexual orientation, gender, or zip code may have yielded resources that can be powerful levers for change.

"People troubled by recent events can make new connections between privileges they've enjoyed and benefits they've taken for granted. From there, many will choose to share some of what they have with people whose equal participation is essential to the construction of a better world."

The 50-year-old said when she began working towards fulfilling her pledge, she did so with the belief that "my life had yielded two assets that could be of particular value to others: the money these systems helped deliver to me, and a conviction that people who have experience with inequities are the ones best equipped to design solutions".

As a result, she asked a team of non-profit advisers "with key representation from historically marginalised race, gender and sexual identity groups" to help her select organisations that were having a "major impact" on causes close to her heart.

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She said that while the work was ongoing and would take many years, she had decided to speak out now after realising there was another element to her privilege she had so far overlooked – the attention her profile could bring to "organisations and leaders driving change".

Following Ms Scott's initial pledge announcement, Jeff Bezos, who is now in a relationship with US TV host Lauren Sanchez, took to Twitter to say she would be "amazing and thoughtful and effective at philanthropy" and that he was "proud" of her.