Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos has donated $ 100 million to the Obama Foundation, which will fund its global leadership programs and see the space at their lavish Chicago presidential center named after a civil rights leader.
The fund is led by former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle said on Monday that Bezos’ gift is the largest individual contribution they have received to date and is intended for “help expand the scope of programming that reaches new leaders in the United States and around the world.”
The only string attached is that the square at the Obama Presidential Center, currently under construction in Chicago, is named after the late Congressman John Lewis, a 1960s civil rights activist.
“Freedom fighters deserve a special place in the pantheon of heroes, and I can not think of a more appropriate person to honor with this gift than John Lewis, a great American leader and a man of extraordinary decency and courage.” said Bezos. “I am excited to support President and Mrs. Obama and their foundation in their mission to train and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”
By naming the square after Lewis, the foundation wants to “change the paradigm” about naming public places, traditionally named after the donors themselves. In the Obama Presidential Center, however, donors will have the opportunity “to honor and exalt the names of those who have fought for a more just and just world.”
In addition to this is “generous unlimited gift” from Bezos will fund other Obama Foundation activities, from the Global Leaders Program to the Girls Opportunity Alliance and My Brother’s Keeper, as well as the Hometown Fund, which intends to invest in Chicago’s South Side, the fund’s CEO Valerie Jarrett explained.
Construction of the Obama Presidential Center – which will not include a traditional presidential library – began in August. The 19-acre complex is expected to take four years to build, at a cost of about $ 830 million.
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