Jeff Bezos makes $100 million donation to Barack Obama foundation
- The donation is the largest individual contribution Obama foundation has received to date
- The donation was given in honour of civil rights icon John Lewis
- Bezos and his family also gifted $166 million to NYU Langone Health
In a statement, the Obama foundation said the gift from Bezos is intended "to help expand the scope of programming that reaches emerging leaders" in the United States and around the world.
Furthermore, as a part of the donation, which was also given in honour of John Lewis, Bezos has asked for the plaza at the Obama Presidential Center, under construction in Chicago’s South Side, to be named after the congressman and civil rights icon who died last year.
Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to Obama who serves as the foundation’s CEO, said in a statement that the foundation was "thrilled" by that idea, the Associated Press.
Construction on Obama’s legacy project is expected to cost about $830 million and be completed by 2025. In the meantime, the foundation said it's giving donors the opportunity to "honour and elevate the names of those who have fought for a more just and equitable world" by naming public spaces in the future presidential centre.
"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," Bezos said in the 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."
Meanwhile, separately on Monday, Bezos and his family also gifted $166 million to NYU Langone Health, a medical centre affiliated with New York University.
Since stepping down as CEO of Amazon this year, Bezos has begun to focus more of his attention on philanthropy. NYU Langone, which received the other Bezos gift announced Monday, said in a statement the donation will be used to aid "with the health and wellness of diverse populations" across NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn community, one of the school’s teaching hospitals and trauma centres in Brooklyn.
With inputs from the Associated Press