The Amazon and Blue Origin boss is worth $131 billion.
“The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel. That is basically it,” Bezos says in an interview with Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner, published by Business Insider on Saturday.
Bezos says his work on Blue Origin, his space company, “ is the most important work that I’m doing .”
“Blue Origin is expensive enough to be able to use that fortune,” he says. “I am currently liquidating about $1 billion a year of Amazon stock to fund Blue Origin. And I plan to continue to do that for a long time. Because you’re right, you’re not going to spend it on a second dinner out.”
On Sunday, Blue Origin successfully launched its New Shepard rocket for the first time in 2018 from its facility near Van Horn, Texas. The company hopes to send humans to space as early as this year, but CEO Bob Smith says that will only happen when the company is completely sure the travel will be safe.
Bezos shared a video of highlights of the launch on his personal Instagram.
“I am very lucky that I feel like I have a mission-driven purpose with Blue Origin that is, I think, incredibly important for civilization long-term. And I am going to use my financial lottery winnings from Amazon to fund that,” Bezos says.
Other than funding space travel, the billionaire says he has “lots of pleasures,” for example, a vacation he just took with his family.
“We went to Norway for three days and we stayed in an ice hotel. We went dog sledding. We went to a wolf preserve and actually got to interact with timber wolves. It really was an incredible vacation, a pretty incredible holiday,” says Bezos. “We got it all done in three and a half days. It was amazing.”
Bezos shared a video of his time in Norway on his personal Instagram account, too.
In addition to funding space travel and going on vacation with his kids, Bezos is planning to give some portion of his money to charity.
In June, Bezos solicited advice for how he could best plan a philanthropic strategy on Twitter.
“I am going to end up doing a mixture of things,” Bezos tells Döpfner of his philanthropy.
In particular, Bezos is inspired by the work of Seattle homeless shelter Mary’s Place. While he supports all kinds of philanthropy, Bezos says, when it comes to thinking about how best to donate his money to help, “I’m finding I am very motivated by the here and now.”
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