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Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post and space exploration company Blue Origin, became the world's wealthiest person this year, with an estimated net worth of $164 billion, according to Bloomberg.

The "Bezos Day One Fund" will contribute to "existing nonprofits that help homeless families" and also fund "a network of new, nonprofit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities", he wrote. In 2016, it renovated a vacant hotel on land designated for its new headquarters so it could be used temporarily by the nonprofit group Mary's Place to give shelter to 200 homeless families.

Bezos first requested on Twitter ideas for philanthropies in June 2017.

"It fills me with gratitude and optimism to be part of a species so bent on self-improvement", he wrote Thursday in a four-part message on Twitter. "Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1".

Bezos, now the world's richest person, asked Twitter followers a year ago for ideas about how he should shape his "philanthropy strategy".

His fortune is now so enormous, it's hard to fully describe.

Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon, speaks at the George W. Bush Presidential Center's Forum on Leadership in Dallas, Texas, U.S., April 20, 2018.

Until now, Bezos has made only small initial steps into giving. And Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has held Bezos up as an example of a leader of a company that does not pay its workers enough. However, he said it is unsafe for politicians to "demonize the media".

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Mr. Bezos solicited ideas on Twitter previous year for ways to donate some of his wealth.

The top five as of 2015, the a year ago for which numbers are available, were the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with $40 billion, the Duke Endowment with $33 billion, the Ford Foundation with $12 billion and the Lilly Endowment with $11 billion. The great quote that Warren Buffett brings up all the time that Benjamin Graham said, which is in the short run the stock market is a voting machine. It's unsafe to say they are the enemy of the people.

Callahan noted that Gates started Microsoft in 1975, but didn't turn to large-scale giving until the late '90s. In January, Mr Bezos also personally gave US$ 33 million in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the USA illegally.

Among the world's top tech CEOs, Bezos is not known for his philanthropy.

He has also made donations for cancer research and to Princeton University, his alma mater.

When Bezos spoke Thursday night at a dinner with Economic Club of Washington, DC, he threw out a few more scheduling guidelines.

He said he did not know how much money he would eventually give away. The Bezos Family Foundation, though, has supported children's education, but is primarily funded by his parents who acquired wealth as early investors in their son's corporation.