Dolly Parton receives $100 million Courage and Civility Award from Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez


Dolly Parton is the latest recipient of the Bezos Courage and Civility Award.

“Jeff [Bezos] and I’m so proud to share that we have a new Bezos Courage and Civility Award winner—a woman who gives with her heart and leads with love and compassion in every aspect of her work,” wrote Bezos’ longtime partner, Lauren Sanchez, on Instagram along with a video of their speech Friday before awarding the scholarship to the country music legend. “We can’t wait to see all the good you’ll do with this $100 million prize, @DollyParton.”

Parton is also known for her philanthropy. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s vaccine research. It was partly used to finance Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.

She said in an interview at the time with the BBC’s “The One Show” that she felt “honoured and proud”.

“I just felt so proud to have been a part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something big and help heal this world,” she said. “I’m a very proud girl today knowing that I even had something to do with something that’s going to help us through this crazy pandemic.”

In 1988, Parton established the Dollywood Foundation, and eventually The Imagination Library, a program that helps children around the world gain access to books.

Among her philanthropic efforts in her home state of Tennessee, Parton also created the Dolly Parton Scholarship, which provides $15,000 to recipients for a college education.

Last year, Bezos awarded $100 million each to CNN contributor Van Jones and chef José Andrés.

Bezos, the founder and former chief executive of, said at a news conference at the time that the grant had no strings attached.

“They can give everything to their own charity,” Bezos said last year. “Or they can share the wealth. It is up to them.”

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