Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the fourth richest person on the planet, plans to give away the majority of his fortune during his lifetime.
Bezos told CNN he will devote the money to fighting climate change and supporting people who can unify humanity in the face of deep social and political divisions.
Light on specifics, the pledge marks the first time he has announced plans to give away most of his money. Critics have chastised Bezos for not signing the Giving Pledge, a promise by hundreds of the world’s richest people to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.
As of Monday, the tycoon’s net worth stood at $123.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Speaking alongside his partner, the former Fox L.A. TV anchor turned philanthropist Lauren Sánchez, said the couple is “building the capacity to be able to give away this money.”
Asked directly by the outlet whether he intends to donate the majority of his wealth within his lifetime, Bezos answered, “Yeah, I do.”
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Bezos said he and Sánchez agreed to their first interview together since they began dating in 2019 to help shine a spotlight on the Bezos Courage and Civility Award, granted this year to musician Dolly Parton.
The award carries a $100 million donation for the country music legend and philanthropist to bestow upon the charities of her choice.
“Did you say $100 million dollars?” a wowed Parton asked as she joined Bezos and his partner Lauren Sanchez to accept the honor on Friday.
Previous recipients include Spanish chef José Andrés CNN host Van Jones.
Most recently, Parton donated $1 million to fund research to develop a cure for COVID-19.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
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