These Are The 25 Most Generous People In America

philanthropists

Last year, America’s top 50 donors gave a total of $10.4 billion to charity, according to a new list compiled by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

That sum was vastly larger than the amount donated in 2010, $3.3 billion; though a whopping $6 billion bequest from an agribusiness heiress who died several years ago accounts for much of the difference.

While giving is still down from pre-recession highs, the Chronicle suggested that levels of giving among the wealthy would continue to rise as long as the economy headed towards recovery.

We’re looking at the top 25 donors on this year’s list; check out the complete list at The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

#25 Sergey M. Brin and Anne E. Wojcicki

Amount donated in 2011: $61.9 million

Net worth: $16.7 billion (Brin)

Beneficiary: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research

Background: Brin is the co-founder of Google and Wojcicki is the co-founder of 23andME, a genetic-testing company.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#24 Conrad T. Prebys

Amount donated in 2011: $63.1 million

Net worth: $125 million

Beneficiary: Scripps Health; Zoological Society of San Diego

Background: Prebys is the president of San Diego-based Progress Construction and Management.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#23 William I. Koch

Amount donated in 2011: $64.6 million

Net worth: $4 billion

Beneficiary: Oxbridge Academy Foundation

Background: Koch, whose two other brothers are also billionaires, is the co-founder of Oxbow Carbon, a company that mines and markets coal and petroleum.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#22 Irwin M. and Joan K. Jacobs

Amount donated in 2011: $64.9 million

Net worth: $1.15 billion

Beneficiary: Joan and Irwin Jacobs Fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego; San Diego Public Library Foundation

Background: Irwin Jacobs is the co-founded of Qualcomm, a San Diego-based wireless communications company.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#21 Leslie H. and Abigail S. Wexner

Amount donated in 2011: $65 million

Net worth: $3.8 billion

Beneficiary: Ohio State University

Background: Leslie Wexner chairs Limited Brands Corporation, operating stores including Henri Bendel and Victoria's Secret.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#20 David M. Rubenstein

Amount donated in 2011: $66.2 million

Net worth: $2.7 billion

Beneficiary: Duke University Libraries; Foundation for the National Archives; John F. Kennedy centre for the Performing Arts; White House Historical Association

Background: Rubenstein co-founded the Carlyle Group, a private-equity firm based in Washington.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#19 A. Alfred Taubman

Amount donated in 2011: $67 million

Net worth: $2.5 billion

Beneficiary: University of Michigan; Lawrence Technological University

Background: Taubman is the founder of the Taubman centres, a real-estate investment company. He studied architecture at Lawrence in 1948 and 1949.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#18 Pierre and Pam Omidyar

Amount donated in 2011: $74.5 million

Net worth: $6.2 billion (Pierre)

Beneficiary: HopeLab, Humanity United, the Omidyar Network, and other groups

Background: Pierre Omidyar is the founder of eBay and his wife is the chair of HopeLab, a nonprofit in Redwood City, California.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#17 H.F. (Gerry) and Marguerite B. Lenfest

Amount donated in 2011: $75 million

Net worth: Not available

Beneficiary: American Revolution centre; Columbia University

Background: H.F. Lenfest founded Lenfest Communications and sold the company to Comcast in 2000.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#16 Eric F. Ross

Amount donated in 2011: $76.5 million

Net worth: Not available

Beneficiary: American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Saint Barnabas Medical centre Foundation; Golda Och Academy; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Background: Ross, who died in 2010, founded Alpha Chemical & Plastics and Mercer Plastics Company. He fled from Germany in 1938 to escape the Nazis.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#15 John E. and Marion Anderson

Amount donated in 2011: $80 million

Net worth: $2.4 billion

Beneficiary: Children's Hospital Los Angeles; University of California at Los Angeles; John E. Anderson School of Management

Background: John Anderson, who died last year, was president of Topa Equities, a holding company. His wife has served on the Children's Hospital's Board of Trustees since 1989.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#14 Porter B. Byrum

Amount donated in 2011: $81.8 million

Net worth: Not available

Beneficiary: Wake Forest University

Background: Byrum, a lawyer and businessman, earned a law degree from Wake Forest in 1942.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#13 Jack C. Taylor

Amount donated in 2011: $99.8 million

Net worth: $9 billion

Beneficiary: The Crawford Taylor Foundation

Background: Taylor founded Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Enterprise Rent-a-Car and other car rental branches. His foundation supports such causes as animal welfare and community development mainly in St. Louis.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#12 Richard O. Jacobson

Amount donated in 2011: $100 million

Net worth: Not available

Beneficiary: Mayo Clinic

Background: Jacobson founded Jacobson Companies, a corporation in Des Moines, and pledged his money to establish a proton-beam therapy program for cancer treatment.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#11 John D. and Laura Arnold

Amount donated in 2011: $101 million

Net worth: $3.5 billion

Beneficiary: Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Background: John Arnold is the founder of the Houston-based hedge fund Centaurus Energy and his wife was a corporate lawyer and a businesswoman. Their foundation supports initiatives that improve criminal justice, K-12 public education, and pension systems.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#10 John and Julie Mork

Amount donated in 2011: $110 million

Net worth: Not available

Beneficiary: University of Southern California

Background: John Mork is chief executive of Energy Corporation of America and graduated from the university he donated to in 1970.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#9 Arthur G. and Margaret B. Glasgow

Amount donated in 2011: $125 million

Net worth: Not available

Beneficiary: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Virginia Commonwealth University

Background: Though the couple died in the 1950s, their estate was only settled last year. Arthur Glasgow was the co-founder of the engineering company Humphreys & Glasgow.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#8 Robert E. and Dorothy J. King

Amount donated in 2011: $166.5 million

Net worth: Not available

Beneficiary: Stanford University

Background: Robert E. King is the founder of the California investment firm Peninsula Capital.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#7 David and Dana Dornsife

Amount donated in 2011: $200 million

Net worth: Not available

Beneficiary: University of Southern California

Background: The couple donated the money to support the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. David Dornsife is chairman of the Herrick Corporation, a steel-manufacturing company.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#6 Raymond G. and Ruth C. Perelman

Amount donated in 2011: $227.3 million

Net worth: Not available

Beneficiary: University of Pennsylvania

Background: Perelman and his wife (who died last summer) donated the money to create the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine. Perelman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1940.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#5 Michael R. Bloomberg

Amount donated in 2011: $311.3 million

Net worth: $19.5 billion

Beneficiary: Arts, human services, public affairs, and other causes

Background: Bloomberg is the mayor of New York and the founder of Bloomberg, the financial news corporation.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#4 George Soros

Amount donated in 2011: $335 million

Net worth: $22 billion

Beneficiary: Open Society Foundations

Background: Soros is the chairman of the New York-based hedge fund management firm, Soros Fund Management.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#3 Paul G. Allen

Amount donated in 2011: $372.6 million

Net worth: $13.2 billion

Beneficiary: Paul G. Allen Family Foundation; Allen Institute for Brain Science

Background: Allen is the co-founder of Microsoft and the founder of Vulcan investment company.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#2 William S. Dietrich II

Amount donated in 2011: $500 million

Net worth: Not available.

Beneficiary: Dietrich Foundation

Background: Dietrich, who died in October, was chairman of the Pittsburgh-based metal frame manufacturer Dietrich Industries.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

#1 Margaret A. Cargill

Amount donated in 2011: $6 billion

Net worth: Not available

Beneficiary: Anne Ray Charitable Trust and Margaret A. Cargill Foundation

Background: Cargill, who died in 2006, was the beneficiary of the Cargill Corporation, a private company established by her grandfather in 1865. The benefactors were only able to convert Cargill's private stock to public stock last year.

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

How else are wealthy people spending their dough?

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