The wish to promote the welfare of others is indicative of those who perceive themselves as part of the whole of humanity. This virtue of charity is considered the greatest of all virtues. The names of such men as Andrew Carnegie (supporter of public libraries), John D. Rockefeller (donor to higher education and modern medicine study and application), and George Peabody (supporter of the construction of private colleges and hospitals)are recognizable to the American public for their great wealth and monopolies. In addition, they are renowned for their generosity in donating significant sums of money to noble causes.
Today, influential men in cyberspace and other modern arenas have replaced the mighty men of the industry. To determine who are the top donors of today, Forbes partnered with Florida’s SHOOK Research. Not surprisingly, these philanthropists are among the wealthiest people in America. Of the top 50 donors, 39 are Forbes 400 members. Here are four of these philanthropists:
Warren Buffet is considered number one on the list of celebrity donors. Along with the Buffett Foundation that his late wife founded, Buffett has donated a great share of his wealth to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and charities that his three children run separately. The Buffett family has donated more than $37 billion to charity.
The Walton Family Foundation was started in 1987 by Wal-Mart’s founder, Sam Walton. Today, this foundation is run by Mr. Walton’s son and daughter, Rob and Alice, along with three grandchildren. In 2018, this foundation provided $210 million for kindergarten through 12th-grade education; $90.3 million was given to protect rivers and oceans; $5.7 billion for initiatives in the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. There were also lending funds for the construction and renovation of public charter schools.
The billionaire creator of Facebook at only age 19, Mr. Zuckerberg, has invested millions of dollars into education efforts in foreign countries and billions to conquer the world’s diseases. He arranged the sale of much of his Facebook stock to fund The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative that supports issues such as curing diseases, connecting people, and personalized learning.
The former CEO of the Hilton Hotels that his father founded, Conrad Hilton, created a foundation that has contributed $17 million to the Catholic Sisters Strategic Initiative programs for human development, children’s programs, and research projects. This foundation also makes efforts to provide third-world countries with sanitary water.