Jeff Bezos’ $100m donation to Obama Foundation welcomed in Chicago

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To foster new approaches to education, childhood development, and civic engagement, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos donated $100 million (US) to the Obama Foundation.

Amazon’s Founder, Chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos told the Obama Foundation’s Board of Directors earlier this week that his Amazon.com company would grant $100 million as part of a larger effort to support ‘public service and community innovation.’

This donation, announced at the same time as Bezos’s marriage to novelist MacKenzie Bezos, is part of the $250 million that the Seattle entrepreneur pledged to New York’s Central Park Conservancy last October. This announcement surprised New York residents as Bezos has no connection to the park, a city landmark that’s a landmark of its own. The celebration of this gift included a ‘singing gazebo’ and a military band.

Bezos also announced a $25 million commitment to fight wildfires in the west and affirmed the Amazon Foundation’s $150 million commitment to the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“One of the unique things about the Obama Foundation is that it’s housed within an incredible institution, Chicago’s University of Chicago. … The University of Chicago has consistently received accolades for its teaching and research, and for the reputation and input into what it does with the resources it receives,” the donation announcement reads.

I welcome Jeff Bezos’s donation to the Obama Foundation. I’ve been a fan of the foundation from the time it was founded. I think it’s a bold move on behalf of Jeff Bezos to help the Obama Foundation follow through on its goals. More people need to support big ideas for the world.

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