Amazon founder Bezos says he will donate most of fortune to charity
Amazon chief executive and new Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos, pictured on Sept. 6, 2013. [AFP]

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for the first time said he will give away most of his $124 billion fortune to charity, but warned that doing so effectively will be difficult.

The pledge matched similar commitments by some of the world's richest people, including Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett and others.

In a CNN interview released on Monday, Bezos said he and his partner Lauren Sanchez were "building the capacity to be able to give away this money."

Asked whether he intended to donate most of his wealth within his lifetime, the 58-year-old Bezos said: "Yeah, I do."

Bezos has been under pressure to make the pledge after his ex-wife, author MacKenzie Scott, in 2019 committed to donate half her vast wealth after their divorce.

Bezos told CNN he intended to maximize returns in his philanthropy, a concern that has also been put forward by other tech titans, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way," he said in the joint interview with Sanchez.

"It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy...and I’m finding — and I think Lauren is finding the same thing — that charity, philanthropy is very similar."

"There are a bunch of ways that I think you could do ineffective things," he added.

Bezos and Sanchez on Saturday announced they were giving Dolly Parton 100 million dollars to give to charities of her choosing.

Bezos said that Parton "gives with heart" and praised the country legend on her promotion of children's literacy.