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Jeff Bezos donated $100 million to Barack Obama’s foundation. It is the most considerable individual contribution to the non-profit in the seven years since it was founded.
The organization made the announcement on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021. The funding will go to training new leaders from the U.S and all over the world.
However, Bezos made a request in return for the donation. He asked that a section of the Obama Presidential Center be named after the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). The building will be part of a $700 million project that includes a library, museum, and offices for the Obama Foundation.
The naming comes as the foundation is pushing for more than the names of wealthy individuals. Donors are encouraged to “honor and elevate the names of those who have fought for a more just and equitable world.” Following Lewis, more civil-rights leaders and icons in business and entertainment will get museum exhibits named after them.
Bezos has increased his philanthropic efforts since he stepped down as Amazon’s CEO.
He promised an estimated $1 billion would go toward climate change initiatives through his Bezos Earth Fund in September. More recently, he announced his commitment to donate $96.2 million to help end homelessness.
Along with the Obama Foundation, Bezos also donated to NYU Langone Health. On Monday, the news release stated the donation of $166 million was the largest the center had ever received.
Bezos’s latest donation will go toward the $1.6 billion fundraising goal set by the Obama Foundation’s CEO, Valerie Jarrett.
The Obama Presidential Center broke ground on September 28 in Jackson Park on Chicago’s south side.
Written by Chiagozie Onyewuchi
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
The Wall Street Journal: Jeff Bezos Donates $100 Million to Obama Foundation; by Rachel Wolfe
Chicago Sun-Times: Jeff Bezos donates $100 million to the Obama Presidential Foundation, largest individual gift ever; by Lynn Sweet
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Dan Farber’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License