The billionaire founder of e-commerce company Amazon Jeff Bezos has agreed to purchase the Washington Post for $250m. He and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos were the largest financial supporters of the state Washington’s campaign to secure same-sex marriage.

Donald Graham, the chief executive of the Washington Post said: “Every member of my family started out with the same emotion—shock—in even thinking about selling The Post. But when the idea of a transaction with Jeff Bezos came up, it altered my feelings.”

Mr Graham added: “The Post could have survived under the company’s ownership and been profitable for the foreseeable future. But we wanted to do more than survive. I’m not saying this guarantees success but it gives us a much greater chance of success.”

The Washington state based Amazon will not have a role in the new company, Mr Bezos will be its sole owner onced the sale is completed within the next two months.

Last year, The legislation passed to introduce same-sex marriage in Washtington state was put on hiatus after opponents submitted more than 200,000 signatures to force the measure through a referendum last November. In the build up to the vote, Mr Bezos and his wife donated $2.5m to the campaign for same-sex marriage.

It was reported that a gay former employee in Amazon.com’s first days emailed Mr Bezos to enquire if he would donate $100,000 or $200,000 to the cause, similar to amounts donated by the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates and its chief executive Steve Balmer. The response from Mr Bezos said: “This is right for so many reasons. We’re in for $2.5 million. Jeff & MacKenzie.”