Amazon founder donate money to Obama library which is currently under construction in Chicago
Just in time for Black History Month, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has given $100 million to the Obama Foundation.
The donation to the University of Chicago’s Banneker-Douglas Leadership Institute and President Barack Obama’s foundation was made after earlier reports that he would give $50 million to help fund Obama’s library, in addition to his pledge to donate to health programs for kids.
“When President Obama, Michelle, and I were deciding where to build the Obama Presidential Center, we thought about the place where the American story really began – not just the place where we celebrated Dr King,” Bezos said in a statement. “Barack and I are lucky to have had the opportunity to visit the great University of Chicago and work with its remarkable leadership, including president Robert Zimmer, trustee Martin Nesbitt, and trustees Jesse Jackson Jr., John Johnson, and Martin D. Lee, who have taught us so much about so many good things in life.”
The donations come on the heels of Obama’s visit to the Amazon headquarters on Friday to meet the company’s founder, the world’s richest man, and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos. The Clintons, John McCain, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have also donated.
Barack Obama’s foundation must secure approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for its buildings. The proposal in order to do so had been attached to the University of Chicago’s proposed renovation for the James S. McDonnell Library which was completed in 1997. Now, the foundation has requested approval for a new building to be built at a place currently under consideration, near the University of Chicago’s Lincoln Park campus. The other community members in attendance were not permitted to comment on the plans.
Michael Strautmanis, the university’s vice president for facilities, said the university was appreciative of Bezos’ donation. “The focus of the project will be to remain true to the Jane Addams/Jacqueline Kennedy Smith National Historic Landmark as much as possible while taking into account the unique context and engineering challenges presented by its location,” he said.