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Tom Brady has donated the $170,000 speaking fee from Salem State University to charities, according to Best Buddies, one of the football star’s signature causes.

The group said on Friday that Brady had given it $50,000 and the remainder to other charities.

Brady made the donation this week, Best Buddies said. He accepted the fee from the college as payment for a one-hour lecture he gave last month as part of the school’s well-known speaker series.

Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Best Buddies founder and chairman, announced the donation in a statement. The money will promote the charity’s mission to foster friendships between volunteers and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Shriver said.

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“We are grateful for Tom’s generous support over the years,” he said.

Brady’s agent did not immediately confirm the donation.

Salem State paid Brady’s fee with money raised by ticket sales and sponsors and turned a $40,000 profit back to the foundation, the school said. No public funds, or funds set aside for scholarships, were used to pay for the speech, the school said.

On WGBH radio Thursday, Governor Charlie Baker defended Salem State, saying the series brings prominence to the North Shore college.

Baker first raised the notion that Brady donated the money on a radio show, but later that day could not confirm it.


Laura Krantz can be reached at laura.krantz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurakrantz.