Jeff Bezos gives away $200 million to recognize 'courage and civility' on Earth, as critics attack the billions he's spent on the space race
Jeff Bezosis giving away $200 million in a pair of awards recognizing "courage and civility."
Van Jonesand chef Jose Andreswill each receive $100 million to donate as they see fit.
- "It's easy to be courageous and mean - try being courageous and civil," Bezos said.
Jeff Bezos announced a pair of $100 million awards to recognize "courage and civility" following his successful flight to space on Tuesday.
The gift comes as billionaires including Bezos and Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson face criticism for spending billions of dollars - with significant sums of public funds - on building out their respective space tourism businesses.
In a pre-flight interview with CNN on Monday, Bezos said those critics were "mostly right," but still defended his decades-long space project.
"We have lots of problems here on Earth and we have to work on those," he added.
On Tuesday, at the end of the post-flight press conference, Bezos said he had "one more thing," a new philanthropic initiative to fund leaders who "aim high, pursue solutions with courage, and always do so with civility."
"We need unifiers and not vilifiers," Bezos said as he announced the award. "It's easy to be courageous and mean - try being courageous and civil."
The recipients, activist Van Jones and chef Jose Andres, will each receive $100 million to direct to the
"No bureaucracy, no committees - they can give it all to their own
"Sometimes dreams come true," said Jones, whose Dream Corps works on issues including criminal justice reform, clean energy, and equity in tech.
"Lauren and Jeff don't do nothing small - they dream big, they love big, and they bet big, and you bet on me, and I appreciate it," Jones said.
Sharing the stage with Jones was chef Jose Andres, who launched World Central Kitchen to provide emergency food relief and resilience programming for communities around the world.
"This award itself cannot feed the world on its own, but this is a start of a new chapter for us," Andres said.
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