Jeff Bezos Makes $100M Donation To The Obama Foundation: Where The Money Is Going

Jeff Bezos Makes $100M Donation To The Obama Foundation: Where The Money Is Going

Amazon.com AMZN founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos has donated $100 million to the Obama Foundation, the philanthropy created by former President Barack Obama, in honor of the legacy of civil rights advocate and former Congressman John Lewis.

What Happened: As part of the gift, Bezos asked for the plaza at the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago to be named the John Lewis Plaza. The Obama Presidential Center broke ground in September and is expected to be completed by 2025.

“Freedom fighters deserve a special place in the pantheon of heroes, and I can’t think of a more fitting person to honor with this gift than John Lewis, a great American leader and a man of extraordinary decency and courage,” said Bezos in a press statement released by the foundation. “I’m thrilled to support President and Mrs. Obama and their foundation in its mission to train and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”

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Why It's Important: Bezos’ gift is the largest donation given to the foundation since it was founded in 2014.

“We believe that there is incredible power in lifting up the names of extraordinary change agents upon whose shoulders we all stand, and we are thrilled by Mr. Bezos’ offer to name our magnificent Plaza in honor of John Lewis,” said Obama Foundation CEO Valerie Jarrett.

“What’s more, Mr. Bezos’ generous unrestricted gift will enable us to help train a new generation of leaders through programs including the Girls Opportunity Alliance, My Brother’s Keeper, and our Global Leaders Program, while also supporting the Foundation’s Hometown Fund, which invests in the expansion of economic development opportunities for residents of Chicago’s South Side.”

In recent months, Bezos has generated headlines for massive allocations of his fortune. Some of these funds have been channeled into philanthropic endeavors, most notably his September pledge to donate $1 billion toward efforts around conservation through his Bezos Earth Fund.

However, Bezos is not denying himself a few pricey pleasures. Last month, the world got its first peek at his $500 million superyacht being constructed in the Netherlands.

Photo: Daniel Oberhaus / Flickr

Posted In: ChicagoJeff BezosJohn LewisObama FoundationphilanthropyNewsMovers & ShakersMediaGeneral