Jeff Bezos calls Donald Trump's attacks on media 'dangerous'

Sources News reports and announcements

Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie Bezos launched a US$2 billion fund to help homeless families and create a network of non-profit preschools in low-income communities. "If our own great grandchildren don't have lives better than ours, something has gone very wrong".

Bezos asked for suggestions for philanthropic focuses in a tweet past year. It is a contrast to the long view that Bezos has preached at Amazon and Blue Origin, the space-travel technology company he has been funding with $1 billion a year through the sale of Amazon stock. Previous to the creation of the Day One Fund, Bezos and his family had donated only $135 million to charities, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a nonprofit providing scholarships for the children of parents who immigrated the US illegally and most recently to a bi-partisan organization that gives campaign support to veterans running for political office.

Bezos, and Amazon, have been criticized in Seattle for not doing more to help the needy and have become focal points in the booming region's angry debate about traffic, housing prices and homelessness.

The world has been waiting for a major philanthropy announcement from Jeff Bezos for over a year.

His private ownership of The Washington Post, which has published articles critical of the White House, has also put him at odds with US President Donald Trump.

The Day 1 Families Fund will start an organisation to operate a new network of full-scholarship preschools for low-income communities. The Amazon boss and his wife, who have four children, both serve on the foundation's board directors. Go Gold boxes by Amazon are special packing boxes adorned with a gold ribbon - the global symbol of childhood cancer.

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But he paraphrased Washington Post editor Martin Baron as saying that "the adminstration may be at war with us, but we are not at war with the administration".

"I've seen small things get big and it's part of this "day one" mentality", Bezos told an Economic Club of Washington dinner.

"The customer is going to be the child", Bezos said. "The secret sauce of Amazon - the number one thing that has made us successful has by far is obsessive, compulsive focus on the customer".

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the money will all come from Bezos, though there are few details about how the fund will operate.

The world's richest man made the announcement on Twitter a year after he asked for ideas on how he could use his personal fortune - estimated to be about $163bn (£124.34bn) - for charitable efforts.

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