Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launches a $2 billion philanthropic fund

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos launches a $2 billion philanthropic fund

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday he and his wife MacKenzie have committed $2 billion to launching a fund to help homeless families and create preschools in lower-income neighborhoods. Previous to the creation of the Day One Fund, Bezos and his family had donated only $135 million to charities, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a nonprofit providing scholarships for the children of parents who immigrated the USA illegally and most recently to a bi-partisan organization that gives campaign support to veterans running for political office.

Bezos fended off a question about his choice, dropping no hints about the company's plans and saying the decision will be announced before the end of the year. "It fills me with gratitude and optimism to be part of a species so bent on self-improvement!"

Amazon's main headquarters building in Seattle is also called Day 1. In his annual letter to shareholders in 2016, he wrote, "Day 2 is stasis".

Last year Bezos tweeted a broad "request for ideas" for a "philanthropy strategy".

His fortune is now so enormous, it's hard to fully describe.

Aside from discussing antitrust concerns, Bezos touched upon a number of other topics, including why he pays little attention to daily stock price movements.

Mira Debs, the executive director of the Education Studies Program at Yale University, agreed about the magnitude of the contribution.

And US Senator Bernie Sanders has criticised working conditions in Amazon warehouses.

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"In his view, these were expressing his civic personality, but people were really waiting to see what he was going to do philanthropically", Pasic says.

The Bezos cash injection follows the philanthropic efforts of other billionaires including Microsoft's Bill Gates, who has donated tens of billions to his foundation. It was created in 2010 by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

"Among these tech titans, Mark Zuckerberg has been unusual in hitting philanthropy early on. I am glad I am being scrutinised, ' and that would be so secure and confident", Bezos said.

Now, with Amazon's stock soaring to an all-time high - the company recently breached the $1 trillion market cap - Jeff, who owns more than 17 percent of the company, was nearly compelled to act.

Many Twitter users agreed with that reasoning. "If billionaires like Bezos were properly taxed then we wouldn't need billionaires like Bezos to sweep in and "rescue" people failed by our underfunded systems," one wrote.

The Amazon founder has made some items: $15 million to Princeton College, where he went to college, and tens of 1000's and 1000's of greenbacks to the Fred Hutchinson Most cancers Be taught Heart in Seattle.

Bezos said the schools would "use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon" and that "the child will be the customer". Bezos responded: "Yeah, if there's anything left after I finish building Blue Origin". The Bezos Family Foundation, best known for supporting children's education, has been largely funded by his parents from Amazon holdings they acquired as early investors in their son's enterprise.

Amazon also is designating 47,000 square feet of space at its new corporate office for a permanent Mary's Place shelter. In 2013, it also started AmazonSmile, which donates a portion of retail sales to charity. "I think better. I have more energy".

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