Jeff Bezos, the self-made billionaire who started Amazon.com out of a Bellevue garage and built it into the world's dominant online retailer over the past two decades, has given $10 million to the Museum of History & Industry to establish a "Center for Innovation" at MOHAI's new location on South Lake Union.
The gift is the largest in the museum's 59-year history. It also is the most visible sign yet of personal giving by Bezos, who is better known for spending money on space exploration and other business investments than on local philanthropic activities.
"Look at the disproportionate number of extraordinary organizations founded in Seattle — Microsoft, Costco, Boeing, Fred Hutch, PACCAR — even UPS was founded here," Bezos said in a statement. "These companies and their innovations have had a big impact on Seattle, the country and the world."