Amazon’s Bezos says Trump should be ‘glad’ of media scrutiny

Marco Green
September 14, 2018

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says he is giving $2 billion U.S. to start a fund that will open preschools in low-income neighbourhoods and give money to non-profits that helps homeless families.

Bezos, who Forbes lists as the richest person in the world with a net worth over $100 billion, went on to say that the overall health of the media in the USA would be "fine", and would survive Trump's consistent criticism and cries of "fake news". 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 US illegally and most recently to a bi-partisan organization that gives campaign support to veterans running for political office.

The fund will also launch a network of "full scholarship" preschools based in underserved communities. "Most important of those will be genuine, intense customer obsession".

"September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and each year Amazon partners with @ACCOrg to raise awareness of childhood cancer - second leading cause of death for kids in the USA between ages 4 and 14', he wrote in an Instagram post shared". Bezos was in town with his parents, who run the Bezos Family Foundation.

"We will have to leave this planet, and we're going to leave it", Bezos previously told GeekWire, "and it's going to make this planet better". The Amazon CEO began crowdfunding ideas on how to spend his considerable wealth back in June, and the lack of specific details, from him or his team, suggests the Day 1 Fund announcement is less a honest move into philanthropy than another salvo in Amazon's ongoing charm offensive - which famously involved astroturfed PR bought with gift cards. Bezos said it was unsurprising and even normal to face questions when a company like Amazon becomes so big.

As with most investment decisions by the Amazon founder, this one was likely grounded in data and science.

"Another way we're raising awareness is through our special #GoGold boxes - you may receive one during September", he added.

Bezos said early childhood education is a critical area and that "the money spent there is going to pay enormous dividends for decades". It's also social norms that protect us.

Mr Bezos has yet to join "The Giving Pledge" created by fellow billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, whose more than 180 signatories have promised to donate over half of their fortunes to philanthropy.

American billionaire philanthropy is spreading elsewhere. It previously helped the nonprofit temporarily house 200 homeless people. Amazon is designating 47,000 square feet of space at its new corporate office for a permanent Mary's Place shelter.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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