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Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world. What good will he do with all that money?

It’s been seven months since Bezos tweeted a request for philanthropic ideas.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stands for photos outside the premiere of ‘The Post’ on December 14, 2017, in Washington, DC.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos arrives for the premiere of ‘The Post’ on December 14, 2017, in Washington, DC.
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

After the New York Times questioned Jeff Bezos about his level of philanthropic giving last year, the Amazon CEO took to Twitter in June to solicit ideas:

“I’m thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact,” he posted in a note on Twitter. “If you have ideas, just reply to this tweet with the idea (and if you think this approach is wrong, would love to hear that too).”

Around 50,000 people did.

Now, nearly seven months later, the world is still waiting to hear what charitable ideas Bezos will pursue.

Jeff Bezos wears a vest at the Sun Valley Conference in 2017. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

And as it does, the Amazon founder’s net worth has crossed $105 billion — surpassing Bill Gates for the largest fortune in modern history, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

But compared to Gates — who has given away what would amount today to more than $60 billion in cash and Microsoft stock over the past 20 years, mostly to the foundation he runs with his wife, Melinda — Bezos’s philanthropic giving has been significantly more modest.

Bezos, along with his wife, MacKenzie, donated $15 million to their alma mater Princeton in 2011 and the CEO has also given tens of millions of dollars to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

He is also believed to look at his other businesses, the Washington Post and the space company Blue Origin, as companies that have the potential to make big, positive impacts on society, too — the former as one of the nation’s most important journalism houses and the latter, in which he says he invests $1 billion annually, as a vehicle to help move heavy industry into space one day to save this planet.

Both, however, are for-profit enterprises.

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