Jeff Bezos Donates $100 Million to Obama Foundation To Honor of Congressman John Lewis

Kimberly Redmond  |

Video source: YouTube, WGN News

Amazon.com Inc (Nasdaq: AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos donated $100 million to former President Barack Obama’s foundation in honor of the late Congressman John Lewis, a key figure in the US civil rights movement. 

The foundation said it is the largest individual contribution it has received to date and included a request from the billionaire that the plaza at the Obama Presidential Center under construction in Chicago be named after Lewis.

In a statement released by the foundation, Bezos said, “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. I’m thrilled to support President and Mrs. Obama and their Foundation in its mission to train and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”

The center — considered to be Obama’s legacy project — is estimated to cost $830 million and will be completed by 2025, according to The Associated Press.

Separately, NYU Langone Health, a medical center affiliated with New York University, said it has received a $166 million gift from Bezos and his family. It followed a $25 million donation in 2017 from the family, NYU said.

In a statement, the school said the donation will be used to aid “with the health and wellness of diverse populations” at NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn, a teaching hospital and trauma center.

Since stepping down as chief executive officer of Amazon this year, Bezos has begun to focus more of his attention on philanthropy

CNN noted that Bezos, the world’s wealthiest person, is one of the world’s top philanthropists but has faced criticism for not giving away more of his fortune of over $200 billion.

His ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, whose fortune is estimated at $61 billion, has made a splash in the philanthropy world over the past 17 months by donating $8.7 billion to numerous nonprofits across the country.

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