Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is already one of the richest people on the planet and he’s trying to become one of the world’s greatest philanthropists.
The 58-year-old American entrepreneur says he plans to give away most of his $124 billion fortune during his lifetime.
While speaking with CNN Business, Bezos admits he plans to pledge billions of dollars to help fight climate change and reduce inequality.
And guess where he started his remarkable philanthropic journey?
What Jeff Bezos Plans to do With His Massive Fortune
Bezos — who has been criticized over the years for not pledging more money to charity — unveiled his philanthropy plans after donating $100 million to the renowned country music star, Dolly Parton.
Parton, who’s a successful philanthropist in her own right, plans to use Bezos’ donation for charitable causes.
Investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates have already promised to give massive amounts of their respective fortunes away — perhaps why Bezos has had a change of heart.
Asked by CNN whether he intended to give away most of his earnings, the businesses man answered, “yeah, I do.”
Bezos didn’t share additional details about where he would donate most of his fortune, he admitted the hard part is “figuring out how to do it in a levered way.”
The multi-billionaire (imagine being a MULTI billionaire?) previously pledged $10 billion to the Bezos Earth Fund, an initiative he launched in 2020 to help fight climate change.
Previously, Bezos was criticized for spending enormous amounts of money on trips to space instead of helping to solve problems here on Earth.
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Over the past two decades, Bezos became one of the richest people on the planet after his 1994-founded internet company Amazon became a global phenomenon. Amazon has spawned a bevy of other companies and ventures including Whole Foods, MGM Studios, The Washington Post, and Twitch, to name a few.
In 2021, Bezos stepped down as Amazon CEO but remained on its board as chairman.
He is currently exploring ventures (and eventually parts of the galaxy) through his space tourism program, Blue Origin.
Why Jeff Bezos Just Gave $100 Million to Dolly Parton
So how does Dolly Parton play into all of this?
As the catalyst for Bezos’ impending philanthropy venture, the businessman donated Dolly Parton the Bezos Courage & Civility Award, which recognizes leaders who “pursue solutions with courage and civility.”
Parton, a 76-year-old philanthropist, will be able to donate the $100 million to charities of her own choice.
While speaking with CNN, Bezos’ partner, Lauren Sánchez says, “we couldn’t have thought of someone better than to give this award to Dolly, and we know she’s going to do amazing things with it.”
“I think people who are in a position to help should put their money where their heart is,” said Parton in a video shared on her social media channels. “I will do my best to do good things with this money.”
Parton has been a high-profile supporter of charities for years. In 1986, she founded the Dollywood Foundation, a foundation that grants scholarships and awards to local high school students and gives free books to children across the world.
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