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On Twitter, he posted a screenshot of an announcement pledging to donate $2 billion to fund "existing non-profits that help homeless families, and [create] a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities".

The interview shed new details on Bezos's philanthropic push, which was devised with his wife MacKenzie and will include building and operating a network of "Montessori-like" preschools to help prevent low-income family children from falling behind in their education.

With a personal fortune of $163.8 billion, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos had previously been largely invisible in the world of philanthropy.

He told the Washington dinner later: "I'm very excited about that because I'm going to operate that".

Amazon will select a location for its second headquarters by the end of the year, CEO Jeff Bezos said Thursday night.

"If you're the president of the United States, you don't take that job thinking you're not going to be scrutinized", Bezos said, adding that he'd had "a couple of conversations" with Donald Trump, though he declined to elaborate.

Earlier this month Amazon, which Mr Bezos founded in 1994, became only the second stock market company to be valued at $1tn.

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Bezos, whose net worth is estimated at about $164 billion, has been criticized for not doing more to support charities, the way other billionaires have, such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg.

He has given $1.5 billion to Blue Origin, his company developing technology for space travel.

Last year, he donated $33 million to fund scholarship for "dreamers", the name given to undocumented children of immigrants who face legal obstacles in attending college or university.

Bezos asked for suggestions for philanthropic focuses in a tweet previous year.

It is not surprising that the world's richest person "is finally getting serious about philanthropy", said David Callahan, founder of website Inside Philanthropy. "I start with a mission (to address a problem) you can do it with government, you can do it with non-profit or you can do it with for-profit".

Despite his concerns with Trump, Bezos said that he was not overly concerned about the future of the news media.

Launched in 1994 as an online bookseller, Amazon has become a retail powerhouse operating globally, and has expanded into streaming video, music, cloud computing and other segments, and previous year acquired the Whole Foods grocery chain. A 10-figure gift to homelessness and early education helps raise awareness for these causes and can inspire other foundations and donors to act.