Amazon chief Jeff Bezos gives $2bn to help the homeless

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos is launching a $2 billion fund to help homeless families and build preschools in low-income communities. The other part will launch and operate free preschools in low-income communities, where "the child will be the customer".

With a little more than three months left in the year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says he still intends to announce a decision on where its second headquarters will be located before the new year. "The media is going to be fine", Bezos predicted.

Mr Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post newspaper, warned on Thursday (Sept 13) that President Donald Trump's attacks on the media are unsafe for the country.

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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. Amazon's Jeff Bezos attended a board meeting in pajamas to raise awareness about childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. between kids aged 4 and 14.

The $2 billion initiative, while significant, is far less than the philanthropic efforts of other billionaires including Microsoft's Bill Gates, who has donated tens of billions to his foundation, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who has pledged to donate 99% of his shares in the social media giant to an organisation focused on public good.

And he also hasn't signed The Giving Pledge, an initiative created by the Gateses and Buffet that encourages billionaires to give away the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

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He also operates the private space exploration firm Blue Origin and owns The Washington Post.

"Never have I been more comfortable at an Amazon board meeting!", Bezos' post read. In January, he said he would donate $33 million to a scholarship fund for young "dreamers", immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. Bezos said it was unsurprising and even normal to face questions when a company like Amazon becomes so big.

In a tweet last June, Bezos asked the public for ideas about where he should give his money.

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Bezos, who founded Amazon as an online book store more than two decades ago, has seen his wealth surge along with Amazon's stock. "What the president should say is, 'This is right, I'm glad I'm being scrutinised.' That would be so secure and confident".

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