Having a boatload of money as a birthright might not make some people live their life in the most righteous of ways, as shown by some of the more famous billionaire heiresses we all see on gossip stations. Paris Hilton, for example, has her own sex tape, has spent several days in jail, and has questionable goals in life. Casey Johnson, heiress to the Johnson & Johnson Empire, is always headlining tabloids with news about robbery and drug abuse scandals.
But if people look at news beyond the tabloids and gossip websites, they could probably see billionaire heiresses who are using their access to wealth in the most meaningful of ways: in philanthropy, education, and building the legacy of their family.
In this list, we celebrate the women who are born into wealth, yet chose not to just spend their days in a hedonistic fashion. These are the billionaire heiresses who saw their privilege as an opportunity to better their lives and other people’s lives.
9 Dylan Lauren
The daughter of the ever-charismatic Ralph Lauren has also inherited his good looks. Aside from being a hottie, Dylan Lauren is also business-savvy. She started her own empire: Dylan’s Candy bar, which produces high-end sweets. The company now has five stores in the U.S., and is a huge seller at places such as the Yankee Stadium. Her flagship store has over 5,000 kinds of candy up for grabs. Dylan has also published her own coffee-table book last October, entitled “Dylan’s Candy Bar: Unwrap Your Sweet Life.”
8 Andrea Soros
Andrea Soros is the daughter of business magnate George Soros. She founded the Trace Foundation, an organization that encourages the sustainable development of Tibetan communities in China. The Trace Foundation has made over $60 million worth of investments in the Tibetan communities. The investments made help Tibetans in rural development, keep them educated, and preserve their culture. The foundation has also established the Latse Contemporary Tibetan Cultural Library in New York.
7 Ivanka Trump
Ivanka is perhaps the most widely known heiress here on our list due to her appearance in the TV show The Apprentice. Ivanka Trump follows in her father’s footsteps, serving as the executive vice president of The Trump Organization. As EVP, she has the duty to seek out avenues for expansion of the company’s real estate interests. She has also authored a book, and started her own jewelry company, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry. The daughter of the man with the comb-over is also busy with philanthropic activities. She is currently the spokesperson for Girl Up, an organization that encourages young women to support and give aid to U.N. programs aimed at girls in developing countries.
6 Emma Bloomberg
This daughter of Michael Bloomberg might not always be featured in the news—her sister, Georgina, is more popular due to being a force in competitive horseback riding—but this heiress certainly has a heart that is as rich as her inheritance. Serving as a former city worker, she is now a part of an organization that aims to alleviate property in New York. Emma also believes in providing opportunities for the young, and contributes a significant amount of effort and ideas as a board member of the Young Lions of New York Public Library and Stands for Children.
5 Jennifer Woo
While Jennifer Woo seems to have no interest in continuing her father’s real-estate business, she still seems to be following in his entrepreneurial footsteps. Jennifer Woo serves as the president of Lane Crawford, the iconic department store of Hong Kong. Under her leadership, the department store has transformed from traditional to modern, chic, and elite. Lane Crawford now has a reputation for having the widest selection of international designer fashion brands. Ms. Woo is also a philanthropist. During the 160th anniversary of Lane Crawford, she spearheaded a charity auction, the proceeds of which will benefit UNICEF’s Driving Dreams Foundation.
4 Holly Branson
Holly Branson is the daughter of Richard Branson—yes, that crazy billionaire-owner of the Virgin group of companies who owns a personal submarine and space jet. She is part of her father’s company and contributes to the health and fitness section of the Virgin group. And while it seems she inherited some of her father’s crazy-cool genes—she ran the London Marathon tied to 30 other people with a bungee cord—at least her crazy-cool efforts are tied to philanthropy. Team Caterpillar raised more than $200,000 for charity while breaking the world record for the most number of people tied together completing a marathon.
3 Roshni Nadar
Roshni Nadar serves as the executive director and CEO of the IT giant HCL Corporation. HCL was founded by Shiv Nadar, Roshni’s father. Roshni is the key person for HCL’s brand building and strategies. Like her father, Roshni is heavily involved in philanthropic activities. Lately, she has contributed to the roll-out of the VidyaGyan schools in Uttar Pradesh, which has a goal of giving rural children education for free.
2 Silvana and Roberta Armani
Giorgio Armani has lots of reasons to be proud of his nieces Silvana and Roberta. For one, they both took a genuine interest to continue their uncle’s legacy. Roberta is the director of public relations and VIP, and is tasked to be the face of their business that key clients engage with. Silvana serves as the creative director of the women’s line of Emporio Armani. One niece has the business and marketing savvy, the other is bubbling with creativity—Giorgio can rest peacefully knowing that his legacy is at the right hands. Did we forget to mention that both sisters are philanthropists too? Silvana and Roberta are contributors to the Product Red initiative, raising money for AIDS awareness.
1 Aerin Lauder
The granddaughter of Estée Lauder, Aerin Lauder is busy in continuing her family’s legacy. She is currently the creative director and senior vice president for the Estée Lauder brand, and has helped to improve and define the Estée Lauder brand image. As an art lover by heart, Aerin is also a member of the Junior Associates Committee of the MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art).