Dolly Parton Receives $100 Million From Amazon’s Jeff Bezos for Charities of Her Choice
Dolly Parton was awarded a prestigious award that comes with an enormous check: The country legend was given $100 million to spread as she sees fit.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos awarded Parton the Courage and Civility Award, tweeting that she, "leads with her heart." "(She) will put this $100 million award to great use helping so many people," he adds.
The 76-year-old Parton — who recently hinted that she might be done touring — is known for her music first and acting second, but her charitable efforts are quickly becoming her legacy. GMA notes that she founded the Dollywood Foundation in 1986 and started Dolly Parton's Imagination Library a few years later. This program sends free books to children under age five across the world. The website notes nearly 200 million books have been gifted since 1995.
"When people are in a position to help, you should help," Parton says in video shared by Bezos. "And I know that I've always said I try to put my money where my heart is and I think you do the same thing. I'm gonna do my best to do good things with this money.
A 2020 donation of $1 million to help fund a COVID-19 vaccine and money to help rebuild east Tennessee after deadly wildfires in 2016 are two more of her many notable contributions. Parton's resume more that qualifies her for an award that "recognizes leaders who aim high, find solutions and ... always do it with civility."
Previous winners of the award include Spanish chef José Andrés, who founded the World Central Kitchen, and political commentator Van Jones, who founded the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights among other things. Like Parton, Jackson is from Tennessee.