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Dolly Parton receives $100M Courage and Civility Award from Jeff Bezos for giving children access to books

Dolly Parton who partly funded Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine is the latest recipient of the Bezos Courage and Civility Award
Dolly Parton was awarded $100M by Jeff Bezos for her charity (Kevin Winter/Getty Images and @laurenwsanchez/Instagram)
Dolly Parton was awarded $100M by Jeff Bezos for her charity (Kevin Winter/Getty Images and @laurenwsanchez/Instagram)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Dolly Parton was awarded $100 million by Jeff Bezos for giving children worldwide access to books. The 76-year-old Parton is the youngest recipient of the Courage and Civility Award, which will be presented at the Bezos Awards on Friday, November 11. The recipient of this award will receive $100 million to "direct to the charities that they see fit."

The 'Jolene' singer's foundation, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, has ensured that 1 in 10 children in the US gets their hands on books. Parton also donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which helped develop the Moderna COVID -19 vaccine. The Courage and Civility Award "recognizes leaders that aim high, find solutions and who always do it with civility," Bezos' longtime friend Lauren Sanchez said at the awards ceremony.


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Sanchez shared the video on Instagram with the caption, "Jeff (Bezos) and I are so proud to share that we have a new Bezos Courage and Civility Award winner — a woman who gives with her heart and leads with love and compassion in every aspect of her work. We can’t wait to see all the good that you’re going to do with this $100 million award, @DollyParton."


"She gives with her heart. What she’s done for kids, and literacy, and so many other things, is just incredible," Bezos, 58, said of Parton. 

The country music star, dressed in a lace, skintight black dress and her iconic blonde wig, seemed shocked when she was awarded the huge sum of money. She exclaimed, "Did you say $100 Million?" "I’ve always said, I try to put my money where my heart is," the beloved singer said as she accepted her award. "I will do my best to do good things with this money. When people are in a position to help, they should help," she added. She also thanked the billionaire in a tweet.


Bezos, the founder and former head of Amazon, said at a press conference that the grant had no strings attached. "They can give it all to their own charity," Bezos said last year. "Or they can share the wealth. It is up to them."

In 1988, Parton established the Dollywood Foundation, and eventually The Imagination Library, a program that helps children across the world to access books. Among her philanthropic efforts, Parton also created the Dolly Parton Scholarship in her home state of Tennessee, which provides $15,000 to recipients towards a college education.