Dolly Parton receives $100 million Courage and Civility Award from Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez
Dolly Parton is the latest recipient of the Bezos Courage and Civility Award.
“Jeff [Bezos] and I are so proud to share that we have a new Bezos Courage and Civility Award winner — a woman who gives with her heart and leads with love and compassion in every aspect of her work,” Bezos’ longtime partner, Lauren Sanchez, posted on Instagram alongside a video of their speech Friday before awarding the grant to the country music legend and longtime philanthropist.
“We can’t wait to see all the good that you’re going to do with this $100 million award, @DollyParton.”
Parton, who has donated to various causes for decades, publicly thanked Bezos and Sanchez on Twitter.
“I try to put my money where my heart is. I will do my best to do good things with this money,” Parton tweeted. “Thank you @JeffBezos #LaurenSanchez”
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s vaccine research efforts. It was partly used to fund Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.
She said in an interview at the time with BBC’s “The One Show,” that she felt “honored and proud.”
“I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world,” she said. “I’m a very proud girl today to know I had anything at all to do with something that’s going to help us through this crazy pandemic.”
In 1988, Parton established the Dollywood Foundation, and eventually The Imagination Library, a program that helps children across the world access books.
Among her philanthropic efforts in her home state of Tennessee, Parton also created the Dolly Parton Scholarship, which provides $15,000 to recipients towards a college education.
Last year, Bezos awarded $100 million each to CNN contributor Van Jones and chef José Andrés.
Bezos, the founder and former head of Amazon.com, said at a press conference at the time that the grant had no string attached.
“They can give it all to their own charity,” Bezos said last year. “Or they can share the wealth. It is up to them.”