Billionaire Jeff Bezos said he is planning to donate $100 million to former President Barack Obama’s private foundation, making it the largest gift pledged so far.
Bezos, who founded Blue Origin, the space exploration company and Amazon, has ramped up his philanthropic efforts since he resigned from running the behemoth.
He said he would donate $96.2 million in grants to groups that support the end of family homelessness last week.
But almost immediately, his donation came in for widespread public condemnation on social media.
Via his pledge, the businessman requested that a plaza at the Obama Presidential Center will be named for John Lewis, the civil rights leader who died in 2020.
In September, Bezos promised to donate $1 billion through his Bezos Earth Fund for conservation while he was standing next to John Kerry, a former secretary of state under Obama’s administration.
Bezos has pledged a total of $10 billion through his Earth Fund. But none of those donations has cracked what has become a wellspring of criticism of the Amazon founder.
Amazon delivery workers have reported not being able to take bathroom breaks during their workday in order to make more drop offs and Twitter followers mentioned this mistreatment.
Bezos was also criticized for not paying its warehouse workers higher wages. In September the company said it would increase starting wages to $18 an hour with some jobs paying $22.50 in some locations.
Full-time employees would receive health, vision and dental insurance, plus a 401(k) program and up to 20 weeks paid parental leave.
Bezos was also ridiculed for the amount of taxes he pays. A ProPublica article showed that he paid a 0.98% “true tax rate” when he paid $973 million in taxes on $4.22 billion in income from 2014 to 2018.