/After returning from space flight, Jeff Bezos donates $100M each to chef José Andrés and Van Jones

After returning from space flight, Jeff Bezos donates $100M each to chef José Andrés and Van Jones


Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin crew make history after reaching space

Wallace “Wally” Funk became the oldest person ever in space when she and Jeff Bezos’ crew launched into space.

Blue Origin, USA TODAY Handout

Jeff Bezos had one more big surprise following his brief jaunt to space.

The Amazon founder, who recently completed a trip aboard the New Shepard rocket from his aerospace company Blue Origin, announced plans to donate $100 million each to chef José Andrés and TV analyst Van Jones.

In a press conference held after Bezos’ voyage, the billionaire said he was launching a Courage and Civility Award aimed at recognizing leaders who pursue solutions with courage, and do so with civility.

“We need unifiers and not vilifiers,” Bezos said, noting the award was for recipients who work hard for what they believe, but do so with civility.

“We live in a world where sometimes instead of disagreeing with someone’s ideas, we question their character or their motives. Guess what? After you do that, it’s pretty damn hard to work with that person. And really what we should always be doing is questioning ideas, not the person.”

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Jones founded the nonprofit organization Dream Corps, which tackles issues such as criminal justice reform and tech equity. He also works as a contributor for CNN.

“Sometimes dreams come true,” Jones said during the press conference.

Andrés founded World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides emergency food relief. 

“I’m so honored,” he said. “I’m really grateful for this reward.”

The announcement followed the successful launch by Blue Origin of its first manned space flight. Also on board were Jeff Bezos’ brother, Mark; famous aviator Wally Funk; and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen, who received the seat after the winner of an auction for a spot aboard the vessel backed out.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.