Philanthropy is the Art of Contribution. It's aim is to better the lives of our species on a whole, and to contemplate how many others ways we can contribute to the lives of those we know and don't know. Philanthropy is truly an epic pursuit, and while there are no rules about how you can contribute to people, there are some people who have managed to brand themselves as Epic Philanthropists, through their noble contributions to society.
1. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)
He owned the Carnegie Steel Company which transformed the steel industry in the United States. He sold his business to the United States Steel Corporation in 1901 and from age 65, started expanding his philanthropic works. His charity works included building more than 2,800 libraries and founding the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
2. Henry Wellcome (1853-1936)
He set up different charitable institutions named after him. Wellcome Trust was also formed after his death. He was involved in pharmaceutical business which made him wealthy. Aside from his charitable works, he was known for collecting historical objects. His collection became one of the largest in Europe.
3. Bill Gates (1955-)
He established Microsoft with Paul Allen, a childhood friend. He is also the founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which was named after him and his wife. This foundation has $28.8 billion in 2005 which is being used to support charitable works concerning global health and education.
4. Warren Buffett (1930-)
He became wealthy due to his partnerships with big companies and shocked many people in June 2006 when he announced that he would be giving away all his wealth, 85% of which went to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This donation is regarded as the biggest charitable act in the US history.
5. George Soros (1930-)
He sent black students to study in the University of Capetown, South Africa at the time when there was a racial issue going on in that country. He is the founder of the Open Society Institute. His charitable works are directed to the progress of open societies in the world.
6. William Barron Hilton (1927-)
He inherited chains of hotels from his father, Conrad Hilton who inspired him to do charitable works. Following his father’s footsteps, he will donate 97% of his estate amounting to $2.3 billion in 2007 to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation upon his death.
7. Walt Disney (1901-1966)
He gave away one fourth of his wealth to The California Institute of the Arts, a charitable organization which he founded.
8. Howard Hughes (1905-1976)
His single but one of the richest and most secretive charitable works in the world was to form an organization for medical research centres. This said charitable organization is now the second richest in the US now estimated at $14 billion worth.
9. Michael Jackson (1958-2009)
He is reputed to be the celebrity that gave the greatest number of donations to charity and supported 39 organizations in his lifetime. He donated the proceeds from his many concerts, albums and events to philanthropic works. It was reported that in one of his concerts, an accident happened which burned his hair and scalp. He donated the payment he received from the accident to charity.
10. Anthony Robbins (1960-)
As the king of the Basket Brigade, and of countless other generous philanthropic donations to people he knows and doesn't, with his money, time and physical dedication, Anthony Robbin's has earned his rightful place in this list of top 10 LEGENDARY philanthropists.