Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveils $2bn philanthropic fund

“Never have I been more comfortable at an Amazon board meeting!” he wrote on Instagram

“Never have I been more comfortable at an Amazon board meeting!” he wrote on Instagram

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who typically tries to stay out of the political fray, has mounted a vigorous defence of press freedom, saying President Donald Trump should be "glad" to face media scrutiny. The wealth that Bezos has amassed hasn't come without controversy, as many critics point to poor working conditions at his facilities while others say he doesn't do enough for the public good.

It seems that Bezos is attempting to quell that chatter as he announced the launch of the Day One Fund in order to start preschools and assist homeless families. 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.

Mr Bezos asked on Twitter last year for suggestions on how he might use his personal fortune, which this year has soared due to Amazon's surging share price and United States tax cuts.

Asked about Trump's repeated criticism of both The Washington Post and Amazon, Bezos called it a "mistake" for any elected official to "attack media and journalists".

Outside that, Bezos and his family's known donations have included gifts to Princeton University and Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

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The fight soured many more locals on Amazon and Bezos, and also overshadowed the growing portfolio of philanthropy they had done in the city. When discussing his charity work with the homeless and schools for children, Bezos said, "All of his best decisions have been made with heart and by trusting gut and instinct as opposed to just analysis". (The foundation was formed from the merger of two smaller, pre-existing efforts: the William H. Gates Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation.) The organization, which is focused on global health and education, has distributed $46 billion to grant recipients through previous year.

Mr. Trump has described the Washington Post as Amazons chief lobbyist. "But it is really risky to demonize the media". Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. "We're going to push through this". The initiative will be called the Bezos Day One Fund, borrowing from Amazon's corporate mantra to approach tasks with the initiative of a startup's first day.

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

How does Jeff Bezos, the richest person alive, spend his billions?

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