Former President Barack Obama’s Foundation has announced that it has received a $100 million donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, which it says is the largest single contribution it has received to date.
Former President Barack Obama’s Foundation announced Monday that it has received a $100 million donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, which it says is the largest single contribution it has received to date.
Separately on Monday, NYU Langone Health, a New York University medical center, said it had received a $166 million gift from Bezos and his family.
For its part, the Obama Foundation said in a statement that the goal of Bezos’ gift is “to help expand programs that reach emerging leaders” in the United States and around the world.
She added that the donation was also made in honor of Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, who died last year. As part of the gift, the foundation said Bezos requested that the plaza at the Obama Presidential Center, under construction in Chicago’s South Side, be named Lewis. Valerie Jarrett, a former senior Obama advisor who serves as the foundation’s CEO, said in a statement that the foundation was “delighted” with the idea.
Construction on the Obama legacy project is expected to cost about $830 million and be completed by 2025. Meanwhile, the foundation said it is giving donors an opportunity to “honor and name those who fought for a more just and equitable world” by naming the public spaces at the center future presidential.
“Freedom fighters deserve a special place in the pool of heroes, and I cannot think of anyone more fitting to be honored with this gift than John Lewis, the great American leader and a man of extraordinary decency and courage,” Jeff Bezos said. In the statement issued by the institution. “I am pleased to support the President, Mrs. Obama, and their Foundation in their mission to train and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”
Last year, Bezos committed to spending $10 billion by 2030 to advance climate change efforts through the Bezos Earth Fund. In recent months, he’s revealed some details about how he plans to spend that money.
Bezos, whose personal fortune Forbes estimates at $212 billion, has long been questioned about the relatively modest level of his charitable giving and his reluctance to sign the Giving Pledge. The pledge, drawn up by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, aims to persuade the world’s richest people to donate more than half of their value to charitable organizations.
The pledge was signed by Mackenzie Scott, Bezos’ ex-wife, whose fortune is estimated at $61 billion. Scott has achieved fame in the philanthropic world over the past 17 months by donating $8.7 billion – without any restrictions – to various non-profit organizations across the country.
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