Dolly Parton gets $100M award from Jeff Bezos for charity
Country music legend Dolly Parton is known for her work as a philanthropist — and she just got a lot more for the charities of her choice.
Parton is the latest recipient of the Bezos Courage and Civility Award, a $100 million prize for “leaders who aim high, find solutions and who always do it with civility,” Jeff Bezos’ partner Lauren Sanchez said in a speech posted to social media.
Parton can donate the sum as she sees fit.
“The woman you’re about to meet embodies these ideals so thoroughly, she gives with her heart,” Bezos said, presenting the award. “What she’s done for kids, literacy and so many other things is just incredible.”
The star’s philanthropic work includes her Imagination Library, which has gifted more than 193 million books to kids around the world, and a $1 million donation to help fund Vanderbilt University’s COVID-19 vaccine research. Her Dollywood Foundation also provides numerous scholarships.
“Wow! Did you say $100 million dollars?” Parton said when she was called to the stage. “When people are in a position to help, you should help, and I know that I’ve always said I try to put my money where my heart is.”
Parton’s recent accolades include a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction and the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.
“Everyone knows her music,” Eric Isaacs, president of the Carnegie Institution for Science and a member of the medal selection committee, recently told the Associated Press. “They might know Dollywood for entertainment, more broadly. But now they’re going to know her for her philanthropy, which I’m not sure they have before.”
Forbes says with a net worth of more than $124 billion, Bezos is one of the richest people in the world. Previous recipients of the Amazon CEO’s award are CNN commentator Van Jones and chef José Andrés.