Many of the world’s wealthiest individuals are also the most generous. Philanthropy among the ultra-rich isn’t uncommon. For these eight people, the commitment to charity has made their names synonymous not only with earning money, but giving it away as well.
- Bill Gates
The founder of Microsoft is known for his immense wealth and his dedication to giving. Bill Gates created the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, which is now the most well-known private foundation on Earth. Gates has made $28 billion in donations through his private foundation and his own wealth. The Gates Foundation has committed to a plethora of good causes, from various vaccination efforts to minority scholarships.
- George Soros
In addition to being a hedge fund mastermind, George Soros is a passionate philanthropist and supporter of the downtrodden. Soros has donated $8 billion over the last 16 years. An unabashed progressive, this billionaire has donated money to the Roma of Eastern Europe, the South African anti-apartheid fight of the 20th century, and most recently, Ferguson, Missouri.
- George Kaiser
Through the George Kaiser Family Foundation, Tulsa, Oklahoma native George Kaiser has donated over $4 billion. He’s dedicated to his hometown—as evidenced by the millions Kaiser has spent on Tulsa’s medical centers and public schools—but he is also committed to finding an alternative to foreign oil.
- Azim Premji
Azim Premji of Wipro is committed to improving education in India. His philanthropic group, the Azim Premji Foundation, donated $2 billion in shares to a trust for teacher training. Premji even opened a school for future teachers, the Azim Premji University.
- Klaus Tschira
Since his retirement from SAP in 1998, Klaus Tschira has devoted himself to his eponymous private foundation. Tschira is passionate about STEM—the Klaud Tschira Foundation is known for assisting single parents pursuing an information science education and computer camps for the visually-impaired.
- Michael Bloomberg
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the 13th wealthiest person in the world. He’s donated $1.8 billion over the years, showing his support for a variety of causes. While Bloomberg is dedicated to the arts, the environment, and public health, he is a notable patron to his alma maters. He’s given over $5.1 billion to John Hopkins University!
- Ted Turner
American media mogul Ted Turner founded CNN and TNT, two channels that have become household staples for anyone with a cable subscription. Turner is also responsible for a $1 billion pledge to the United Nations; his generous donation created the United Nations Foundation.
- Warren Buffet
Warren Buffet originally stated that he would donate the entirety of his fortune upon his death. However, he’s decided to start giving early: in 2006, Buffet donated over $30 billion to the Gates Foundation. The frugal billionaire has since created the Giving Pledge with fellow filthy rich philanthropist, Bill Gates. The Giving Pledge is a pact made among the uber-wealthy; they all promised to donate most of their fortune to charity.