Dolly Parton Receives $100 Million Award from Jeff Bezos

This weekend Jeff Bezos announced the winner of the Courage and Civility award as well as the $100 million prize that goes along with it. Bezos started giving out this award in 2021 to those that exemplify the traits of a leader who “pursues solutions with courage and civility.”

This year it was the country music singer and star Dolly Parton who was honored with the award. She has endowed this award in recognition of her philanthropic pursuits, particularly in her mission to strengthen and improve children’s literacy and education. Upon hearing about the prize money, Parton responded by saying, “Did you say a hundred million?!?” 

You may be wondering why exactly someone who is already so successful and who has her own fortune is being given an additional $100 million dollars. Well, the money is not necessarily going to her; that is to say, it is to be redistributed by her. The prize money is actually to further pursue charitable acts. She will have the next ten years to donate the money to nonprofits and their causes as she sees fit. 

Parton thanked Bezos and Sanchez for this tremendous opportunity to pay it forward, stating, “I try to put my money where my heart is. I will do my best to do good things with this money. Thank You.” Parton was granted this prize because of how she has been a leader in her mission to improve young children’s literacy. Particularly for running her own nonprofit organization called the Imagination Library since 1995. The Imagination Library has books shipped to children until they are five years old, all around the world, for free. A truly honorable cause to be so devoted to. Parton has now joined the ranks of some very honorable people. Last year’s winners were Van Jones and José Andrés. Jones is a political commentator, author, and lawyer, as well as the co-founder of the following nonprofits: The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color Of Change, Green for All, Dream Corps, and REFORM Alliance, all of which he co-founded. It was his commitment to these organizations and his overall long history of activism that led to his award. Andrés is a chef and the founder of the World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that donates meals to those in the aftermath of natural disasters.

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