Jeff Bezos calls the gift the “Courage and Civility” award. They can keep the money or give it to charity.
Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and the world’s wealthiest man, chose to give CNN’s Van Jones and chef José Andrés $100 million each:
Bezos said that Jones and Andres were free to do “what they want” with the money.
“They can give it all to their own charity,” Bezos said at a press conference after his trip to space. “Or they can share the wealth. It is up to them.”
The money, Bezos said, was tied to a “surprise” philanthropic initiative he wanted to announce called the Courage and Civility Award.
The award aims to honor those who have “demonstrated courage” and tried to be a unifier in a divisive world, Bezos added.
“We need unifiers and not vilifiers,” Bezos said. “We need people who argue hard and act hard for what they believe. But they do that always with civility and never ad hominem attacks. Unfortunately, we live in a world where this is too often not the case. But we do have role models.”
Andrés is known for his charity efforts around the world to feed people. He acknowledged the money “cannot feed the world on its own,” but it’s a starting point.
Jones and Andrés and CNN host Anderson Cooper had no idea Bezos would make the announcement.
Jeff Bezos announces he's giving Van Jones $100 million to donate to charity as Jones sees fit. Bezos calls this a "Courage and Civility" award
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) July 20, 2021
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