Who received Jeff Bezos' $200 million? Chef José Andrés and CNN host Van Jones get a 'surprise'

Following his trip to space, during a press conference, Jeff Bezos said, 'I have a little surprise for you'


                            Who received Jeff Bezos' $200 million? Chef José Andrés and CNN host Van Jones get a 'surprise'
According to Jeff Bezos, the monetary award was tied to a 'surprise' philanthropic initiative he called the 'Courage and Civility Award' (Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Environmental Media Association, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Jeff Bezos took the revolutionary space trip with his brother Mark, Dutch teenager Oliver Daemen, 18, and former NASA trainee Wally Funk, 82 in Blue Origin's first flight to space on July 20. After the '11 minutes trip to space', Bezos announced $200 million awards to two men, who he said, "aim high". According to Bezos, the monetary award was tied to a 'surprise' philanthropic initiative he called the 'Courage and Civility Award'.

Following his trip to space, during a press conference,  Bezos said, "I have a little surprise for you." The billionaire then announced a new philanthropic initiative consisting of a $200 million award that recipients can use for the charity of their choosing. The first two recipients of the award are Van Jones, CNN host and the founder of the racial justice nonprofit Dream Corps, and José Andrés, the chef and founder of World Central Kitchen, who will receive $100 million each.

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Bezos noted that the recipients are free to spend their winnings on either their own nonprofits or donate the money to other organizations. "These are people who have demonstrated courage. By the way, it’s easy to be courageous, but also mean. Try being courageous and civil. Try being courageous and a unifier. That’s harder and way better and makes the world better, " he said. "We need unifiers and not vilifiers. We need people who argue hard and act hard for what they believe. But they do that always with civility and never ad hominem attacks. Unfortunately, we live in a world where this is too often not the case. But we do have role models, " he added. After the flight on Tuesday, July 20, Bezos said that he wanted to thank “every Amazon employee and every Amazon AMZN, 1.01% customer because you guys paid for all of this.”

Accepting the award, Van Jones said, "Sometimes dreams come true." "You bet on me and I appreciate it," Jones further told Bezos, adding that the money was to "give to others who have a similar spirit."On the other hand, Andrés, said that the award itself "cannot feed the world on its own." "But," he added, "this is a start of a new chapter for us."

'Giving money to rich folks, who pay no taxes'

As soon as the news broke out, people flocked Twitter with hilarious reactions. One user tweeted, "Giving money to rich folks, who pay no taxes, so they can give it to other rich folks ("charity of their choice"), who pay no taxes. Pretty much the American Way." Another commented, "Maybe it’s just me, but José Andrés should’ve been given $200 million and Van Jones given a free prime membership." One user wrote, "Van Jones is too busy kissing Kim Kardashian's butt. There are others that could do good with it. I agree with Chef Jose Andres getting his money, but I think Van's money could have been used for inner city schools and programs."



 



 



 

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