Amazon founder Bezos announces $2B charitable fund

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

It will begin with the commitment of $2 billion and focus on two areas: funding existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.

The Day 1 Families Fund will start an organisation to operate a new network of full-scholarship preschools for low-income communities.

Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post and space exploration company Blue Origin, became the world's wealthiest person this year, with an estimated net worth of $164 billion, according to Bloomberg.

"All big institutions of any kind are going to be and should be examined, scrutinized and inspected", he said.

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".

"We're hoping that local, state and federal governments see this as a call to invest more in preschool and childcare", he said.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seems to be Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant's arch-nemesis, so it only makes sense that she would have something to say about the entrepreneur's $2 billion charitable fund toward homelessness and education.

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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.

Bezos's fortune comes mainly from his stake in Amazon, the diversified online firm which briefly hit $1 trillion in market value this month and is the second most valuable company after Apple. In January, Bezos also personally gave $33 million United States in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the USA illegally.

Bezos hinted earlier this year that he would take on a major philanthropic project after asking his Twitter followers for ideas on how to give away his money.

What Trump "should say [of criticism] is, 'This is right, this is good".

An Amazon spokesman didn't have details on who would run Bezos' new initiative, or where the group would be based.

Launched in 1994 as an online bookseller, Amazon has become a retail powerhouse operating globally, and has expanded into streaming video, music, cloud computing and other segments, and a year ago acquired the Whole Foods grocery chain.

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