Celebrity philanthropists

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart Realty West CalBRE #01458572


My Partner and I are involved with a lot of charities, most related to disease research, the arts, and nature, so I'm always intrigued when I find a list of the most generous philanthropic donors.

Each year The Giving Back Fund releases a list of the Top 30 celebrity philanthropists according to public records. This year's list was released on September 17, and to no one's surprise, Oprah Winfrey again topped the list. I'm not sure why Bill and Melinda Gates are not #1 because I certainly consider Bill to be a celebrity. Maybe that's the problem; I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Melinda Gates.

Anyway, here's the current list:

  1. Oprah Winfrey - $50,200,000 - Oprah made her fortune mostly in television and print media. She supports education, health care, and women & children advocacy.
  2. Herb Alpert - $13,000,000 - Herb made his money in music and supports music education, including underwriting the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

  3. Barbra Streisand - $11,000,000 - Barbra made her money in music and movies. She supports women's issues, civil rights, the environment, and AIDS research
  4. The late Paul Newman - $10,000,000 - Paul's money came from movies and his famous salad dressings, Newman's Own. He established a scholarship Kenyon College in Ohio, his alma mater.
  5. Mel Gibson - $9,900,000 - Mel's money comes from movies and supports the Holy Family Church in Malibu, California.
  6. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (Or Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt) - $8,400,000 - Their money comes from movies and supports refugee aid, cross-cultural understanding, and New Orleans rebuilding. Brad just donated $1,000,000 to California's No On Proposition 8 campaign. Thank you, Brad.
  7. Lance Armstrong - $5,000,000 - From bicycling and endorsements. His foundation supports cancer research.
  8. Eric Lindros - $5,000,000 - From hockey and endorsements. Supports the London Health Sciences Centre in Canada.
  9. Michael Jordan - $5,000,000 - From basketball and endorsements. Supports Hales Franciscan High School in Chicago, a historically all-black boys school.
  10. Rush Limbaugh - $4,200,000 - From television, radio, and books. Provides financial assistance to the children of law enforcement and military personnel killed in the line of duty.
  11. Rosie O'Donnell - $3,500,000 - From movies and television. Supports various child-related programs, including early education programs.
  12. Richard Jefferson - $3,500,000 - From basketball and endorsements. Funded a new basketball/volleyball facility at the University of Arizona.
  13. Jerry Seinfeld - $3,000,000 - From television. His Foundation supports various causes.
  14. Hugh Hefner - $2,000,000 - From magazine publishing. Supports the School of Cinematic Arts and the University of Southern California.
  15. Dan Rather - $2,000,000 - From television. Provides scholarships for Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, 90 miles north of Houston.
  16. Tom Shadyac - $2,000,000 - Comedian. Supports meadows and wetlands preservation in Colorado.
  17. Sam and Lynn Waterston - $1,700,000 - Actor. Foundation supports various causes.
  18. Tiger Woods - $1,350,000 - Golf and endorsements. Tiger Woods Learning Center.
  19. Andre Agassi - $1,300,000 - From tennis and endorsements. Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation.
  20. Dwayne Johnson (aka "The Rock") - $1,000,000 - From movies. Supports University of Miami football facilities.
  21. David Kopay - $1,000,000 - Football. Supports the Q Center for gay and lesbian students at the University of Washington.
  22. Tracy McGrady - $1,000,000 - From basketball and endorsements. Supports "Stand Up for Darfur."
  23. Mike and Jennifer Miller - $1,000,000 - From basketball and endorsements. Supports the Sanford Children's Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
  24. Adam Sandler - $1,000,000 - From movies. Supports the Boys and Girls Club in Manchester, New Hampshire.
  25. Steven Spielberg - $1,000,000 - From movies. Supports the "Not On Our Watch" project and the Righteous Persons Foundation.
  26. Denzel Washington - $1,000,000 - From movies. Supports the debate team at Wiley College on which his movie The Great Debaters was based.
  27. Isabel Allende - $870,000 - Novelist. Supports healthcare, education, and protection against violence in memory of her daughter.
  28. Jerry and Karen West - $800,000 - From basketball. Supports West Virginia University.
  29. David and Valerie Robinson - $779,000 - From basketball and endorsements. Supports Carver Academy, hunger programs, and mentoring programs.
  30. Richard Seymour - $725,000 - Football. Supports youth camps and health fairs.

    Some of Jim's blog entries

    1. There obviously is no financial crisis if Zoey has been pre-approved for a $5,000 credit card

Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bill Gillhespy 10/22/2008 02:55 AM
  2. Edna Ledoux Jamieson 10/24/2008 10:00 AM
ActiveRain Community
Inspired By Song!
Addicted to Active Rain

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Evening Jim,  I also thought Gates would be on your list.  Oprah sure is well known for her support of many good causes.

Oct 21, 2008 12:14 PM #1
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

Not a lot of surprises.  I supose they dont have all the info some people probably don't announce there giving.

Oct 21, 2008 01:09 PM #2
Sherry Peckhoon Sim
Sims & Company - Cayucos, CA
Broker/Owner, Covering the Beautiful Central Coast

Hi Jim, it's wonderful to know that celebrities care too. I do know that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave a huge junk - $100 million to The Rotary Foundation to help eradication of polio.  As a Rotarian, I know we got the money and it's been used there, mainly in Nigeria, Pakistan, Indian and Afghanistan where endemic cases are experienced.  There may be more who's missed.

Oct 21, 2008 06:40 PM #3
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Jim:  Surprised to see Eric Lindross on there.  As a Capitals hockey fan for years, it's hard to like the guy, but this certainly does put him in a different light.

Oct 22, 2008 04:58 AM #4
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

Hi Jim - you've pulled together an interesting list.  I hope one day I have the means to make generous contributions like those.

Oct 22, 2008 07:05 AM #5
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Jim Frimmer

Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist
Ask me a question
Spam prevention