Jeff Bezos gives Obama Foundation $100 million, named square in honor of late congressman John Lewis

President Barack Obama 2016. (BigStock Photo)

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is giving $100 million to the Obama Foundation, organization it’s building the former president’s library – called the Obama Presidential Center – and has many programs to support incoming leaders around the world.

The gift is the largest individual donation to the foundation and gives Bezos the opportunity to name one of the center’s hallmarks. He requested that the center’s square be called John Lewis Plaza, in honor of the congressman and civil rights activist who passed away last year.

NS The news has been announced Second.

“Freedom fighters deserve a special place among heroes, and I cannot think of a more fitting person to be honored with this gift than John Lewis, a leader great American and a man of extraordinary courtesy and courage,” Bezos said in a statement from the Obama Foundation. “I am delighted to support President and Mrs Obama and their Foundation in their mission to train and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”

Bezos, who step down as Amazon’s CEO in July, has in recent years built more of a presence in national politics. In 2013, he bought The Washington Post and three years later, Mr bought a property in a posh neighborhood in Washington, DC, which he converted into a residence. At a January 2020 party At the DC mansion, guests included Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Senator Mitt Romney and several former Presidents Trump, including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Kellyanne Conway, according to Politico.

In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Bezos was criticize of Trump, saying his rhetoric “erodes our democracy” and that he offered to send him into space aboard one of his Blue Origin rockets.

NS Puck news site first reported the gift, noting that Jay Carney, Amazon’s senior vice president of global corporate affairs and former Obama press secretary, helped with the donation.

Bezos and Obama aren’t close, but “we still see each other socially from time to time,” Valerie Jarrett, executive director of the Obama Foundation, told Puck.

Bezos, who has a net worth of around $200 billion, has been stepping up his philanthropy after years of limited donations. In 2018, he created the $2 billion Bezos Day One Foundation to assist people experiencing homelessness and fund early education. In 2020, he launched the $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund.

Obama Foundation officials pointed out what it meant for Bezos to name the square for Lewis, not himself, which often happens when naming rights are granted.

“With a gift from Bezos, the Foundation is looking to change the paradigm around naming public spaces within the Center, using it as an opportunity for donors to choose to honor and enhance high profile of those who have fought for a fairer and more equal. world,” reads a statement from the centre.

Construction of the Chicago-based center began in September and is expected to be completed in 2025. Bezos’ gift is unrestricted and can be used for any of the organization’s programs. office.

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