Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is the world’s richest man, has often been called a cheapskate when it comes to giving away money to charity. But it looks like he can rid himself of that title because he has now emerged as a 2018's leading philanthropist in the United States. The 55-year old American businessman, who has a net worth of around $137 billion, along with his soon-to-be ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos, gave over $2 billion to charities and non-profits in 2018.
Reportedly, in the latest Philanthropy 50 list, a ranking of America’s top 50 donors compiled by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Bezos made more charitable donations than anyone else in the US last year, including philanthropists with comparable fortunes such as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Bezos’s presence at the top of the list came as a surprise to many as he has been frequently criticised in the past for not using his wealth to support good causes.
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Back in 2017, Bezos requested and solicited ideas on Twitter for long-term charitable causes and received over 49,000 comments. Bezos and his wife donated a bulk of their giving to non-profits that help with homelessness and poverty. They also gave money to support funding pre-school education in low-income communities.
Other tech personalities that made it to the Philanthropy 50 in 2018 include names like Pierre and Pam Omidyar, Steve and Connie Ballmer, late Paul Allen, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan and Craig Newmark.