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When Jeff Bezos was in pyjamas at an Amazon board meeting
14 September 2018, 05:11 | Hattie Nash
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos walks onstage for the launch of the new Amazon Fire Phone in Seattle
Inc Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos on Thursday launched Bezos Day One Fund, a new philanthropic initiative, with an initial commitment of $2 billion to help homeless families and create preschools for low-income communities.
Mr Bezos, whose Amazon fortune has made him the world's richest person, added that he has had "a couple of conversations" with Mr Trump, but declined to say what was discussed.
Bezos tweeted a statement Thursday that the fund will issue annual leadership awards to organizations "doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families".
The fund will also seek to launch and operate "a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities", he wrote. We'll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon. "The secret sauce of Amazon - the number one thing that has made us successful has by far is obsessive, compulsive focus on the customer". The Amazon CEO showed up to a company board meeting on Wednesday in blue pajamas to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
"We will have to leave this planet, and we're going to leave it", Bezos previously told GeekWire, "and it's going to make this planet better".
Bezos said early childhood education is a critical area and that "the money spent there is going to pay huge dividends for decades".
Gates did not fully throw himself into philanthropy until he stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000.
The private non-profit foundation in its 2016 tax filing reported almost $46 million U.S. in assets, and giving away $30 million USA in grants support its missions in early education, K-12 schools reform and youth leadership development and scholarships. "If you can give somebody a leg up when they're 2, 3 or 4 years old, by the time they get to kindergarten of first grade, they're much less likely to fall behind".
While the online retail giant's presence made Seattle the fastest-growing big city in the United States, it also has taken a toll on its residents, driving up rent prices, clogging traffic and overwhelming public transportation.
American billionaire philanthropy is spreading elsewhere.
In places like China and the Middle East, where public acts of charity are less common, the wealthy are starting to formalise their giving. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post. Some activists and politicians have partly blamed the city's problems on Amazon. It previously helped the nonprofit temporarily house 200 homeless people.
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