Barack Obama’s foundation announced Monday that it has received a $100 million donation from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, which it says is the largest individual contribution it has received to date. The former president's foundation said in a statement that the gift from Bezos is intended "to help expand the scope of programming that reaches emerging leaders" in the United States and around the world, the AP reports. The donation, it said, was also given in honor of John Lewis, the congressman and civil rights icon who died last year. The foundation said Bezos has asked for the plaza at the Obama Presidential Center, under construction in Chicago’s South Side, to be named after Lewis. Construction on Obama’s legacy project is expected to cost about $830 million and to be completed by 2025.
Separately on Monday, New York University’s medical center said it has received a $166 million gift from Bezos and his family. NYU said in a statement the donation will be used to aid “with the health and wellness of diverse populations” across NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn community, one of the school’s teaching hospitals and trauma centers in Brooklyn. Since stepping down as CEO of Amazon this year, Bezos has begun to focus more of his attention on philanthropy. Bezos, whose personal wealth is estimated by Forbes at roughly $212 billion, had long been questioned about the relatively modest level of his charitable giving.
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