What is your wealth good for if you do not use it to improve or enhance the general quality of life of mankind? You cannot just keep earning money if you do not have anything worthwhile to spend it on. After you have bought your umpteenth house, luxury vehicle, sports car, jewelry and designer clothing, and after you have visited all the famous spots and secluded beaches on our planet, surely, there will come a time when you will reflect on the fortune that you have amassed and you start thinking of those who did not get the same opportunity.
Well, these rich people have done the requisite reflection and have made the move to donate their money to some worthy causes. Here is a list of the top ten philanthropists in the world.
1. Warren Buffett – $30.7 billion
Warren Buffett is one of the richest men in America. As chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has earned the honor of being the most successful investor of the 20th century. The business magnate is known for his frugal ways and for his adherence to the philosophy of value investment. Buffett has also pledged most of his wealth to worthwhile causes, with most of the money coursed through the Bill Gates Foundation. Almost $31 billion of his money are being used to help eradicate poverty and to help improve education, health care and access to information technology.
2. Bill Gates – $29 billion
Bill Gates is the former chairman and chief executive of Microsoft Corp., the largest personal computer company in the world. He has always been considered as one of the richest men in the world, with Gates topping the list consistently from the mid-1990s to 2009. In a way, Gates has already touched the lives of billions of human through the Windows operating system and the MS Office productivity suite. More than that, however, Gates has formed a foundation that would help conduct research on curing and preventing the AIDS disease, upgrading sanitation and improving education all over the world.
3. Li Ka Shing – $10 billion
Li Ka Shing is the largest operator of container terminals in the world, as well as the largest health and beauty retailer. Based in Hong Kong, he is considered the richest person of Asian descent with a net worth of more than $25 billion. He is the chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Limited and Cheung Kong Holdings. Li Ka Shing has also donated more than $10 billion for the improvement of education and health care.
4. George Soros – $6 billion
George Soros is an American-Hungarian business magnate who chairs the Soros Fund Management. In the business world, he is known for the billion dollars in profits that he earned during the currency crisis in the United Kingdom in the early 90s. He is an active supporter of progressive and liberal causes, donating money to advance the causes of democratic governance through several anti-fascist publications. He also supports human rights organizations, as well as agencies fighting for economic, legal and social reforms. He also played an active role in the transition of his native Hungary from communism in 1989. He also provided a huge endowment fund to the Central European University based in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.
5. Azim Premji – $2 billion
Azim Premji is the chairman of Wipro Limited, an Indian software company that is among the leaders in the industry. He also has his own private equity fund called PremjiInvest that is tasked with managing his billion dollar personal portfolio. He also donates a tidy sum to help improve health care and education.
6. Wang Jianlin – $1.6 billion
Wang Jianlin is the chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, a property investment company that has several malls, luxury hotels, cinemas, department stores and karaoke centers in China. With a personal net worth of almost $11 billion, Jianlin has donated 15.68 percent of it to various causes in his country.
7. Terrence M. Pegula – $1.5 billion
Terrence Pegula got wealthy as a result of his natural gas drilling company called East Resources. He has since sold the New York, Pennsylvania and Rocky Mountain assets of the company to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 billion. East Resources, however, still has oil and gas assets in West Virginia. He has given up an astonishing 46.76 percent of his wealth to sports and social causes. In particular, Pegula has been actively supporting athletes who are pursuing higher education, making sure that they have the brains to complement their athletic prowess.
8. Howard Hughes – $1.56 billion
Howard Hughes is a billionaire Hollywood producer known for his ambitious films. He then became an aviator intent on setting several world records in air speed. He also owned Trans World Airlines, a company that later merged with American Airlines. While Hughes became more eccentric and reclusive as he got older, he never stopped donating money to help improve health care. After he passed away in 1976, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute kept the billionaire’s legacy alive by continuing his different health projects and advocacies.
9. Huang Wenzai – $920 million
Huang Wenzai is the chief executive officer of the luxury property developer called Star River Property Holdings Limited. Wenzai has donated most of his wealth to a variety of causes, from public welfare and rural construction to relief efforts for natural calamities in his native country.
10. Gennady Borisovich Bogolyubov – $663 million
Gennady Bogolyubov is a Ukrainian who controls the largest manganese mine in Australia. He has a personal net worth amounting to $2.6 billion, yet, he makes it a point to donate a fourth of his money to several different causes. To facilitate this, he created the Bogolyubov Foundation, a privately run and funded charity that caters and donates to different Jewish projects around the world. He is proud of his roots, so though he also gives to other causes, the Foundation almost always funds those charities that are related to Judaism and Israel.
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