Talk:List of philanthropists

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Certainly these people gives millions of dollars to charity, but I think we should compare it to their net-worths. For example Michael Bloomberg is listed to have donated $300 million. His net-worth is $20 billion according to his wikipedia page. Therefore he only gives 1.5% of his net-worth. I think many middle-class people give much more than 1.5% of their net-worth. Any thoughts on this matter? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ru-G Corp. (talkcontribs) 18:15, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Is George Soros really a philantropist?[edit]

There is no doubt that George Soros invested a huge amount of his money into all kinds of things, that some people might call "philantropic", but that is not a NPOV. [rant and possible WP:BLP violations removed]

  • The 2 sources for his "philantrpist" nature are extremely questionable

[more removed] If there are objections, please claarify, why "philantropist" is a NPOV and how these articles could possibly be considered neutral sources and confirming the claim. --2003:E7:B70E:E702:10F1:E75D:63BA:6232 (talk) 09:44, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

You only mention sources in the lead. They do call him philanthropist and there are also many sources in George Soros#Wealth and philanthropy. Scanning the reference section shows many sources with philanthropy/philanthropist in the title. A Google News search of philanthropist George Soros finds many others. If you donate a huge amount of your own money as Soros has done according to numerous reliable sources then you are considered a philanthropist. It's not about how you got the money or what else you do. PrimeHunter (talk) 10:50, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

Would you call Nelson Mandela a philanthropist[edit]

I had always associated that word with rich people who are trying to do some public relation and avoid taxes until reading this article. What changed my view is listing RMS on that list. And from the description, it is true one is left with a feeling he is a philanthropist. This triggered a thought, Nelson Mandela can easily and nicely fit in that list. Others i can think of from the top of my head is the standard oil crook, Soros, Walton (The Walmart guy) though i think this had more to do with fear of communist affecting his business, the U2 guy, what the heck is his name, Bono or something (Kind of looks like he really want to help Africa out of poverty) and a ...i have run out of it

I've deleted Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and RMS, because "philanthropy" is a side-effect of their primary work. More on this below. -- 02:41, 7 November 2006 (UTC) A one of thoose thingys is a bald man with alot of money that hates it when you spen his money

Bob Geldof[edit]

Bob Geldof and Midge Ure are worthy of this list.

Surely they inspired the greatest "cultural" movement against poverty in Africa, of all time?

Apart from Live Aid, 20 years ago which in itself was a massive event, the recent G8 concerts helped raise awareness at a time when world politics is more concerned with terrorism, and was a possible catalyst in the resulting G8 decisions.

In my opinion, Bob Geldof is a true philanthropist. Midge Ure is perhaps lesser known to the public eye (and I admit I am not familiar with the exact work both of them do), but perhaps he also deserves credit for the political and cultural changes they have made.


IMHO, the criteria should be activities of philanthropy, not motive(s). And to be considered a philanthropist, one need not do that exclusively. There is ample opportunity to elaborate on specifics in each individual article. Very few people (if any) are all good or all bad. Vaoverland 01:59, 21 November 2005 (UTC)

Why are most of the people on this list extreamly rich?

Quoting from the article: "A philanthropist is someone who devotes his time, money, or effort towards helping others." Out of time, money or effort, money is the easiest part for the filthy rich. There are not many Mother Teresa in the world, but there are more than enough rich people who are willing to trade a tiny portion of their great fortune for fame and recognition (e.g. being listed here in this article.) Some of these rich people figured that if they don't donate the money to charity, Uncle Sam will get a bigger share of tax anyway. It is a win-win situation for them to become a philanthropist regardless whether they really care about helping others. I am not saying all rich philanthropists do this for the tax break, but that partly answers your question. Kowloonese 23:29, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I suggest we limit the list (as per whatever criteria selected above) to folks who have rated articles in Wikipedia - or to people with an on-line biography we can link to directly. I think we should also list the general area(s) of their giving. Rklawton 17:23, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

Alternatively, perhaps we can limit the list to the "top ten all time givers" in terms of dollars and then just use/create a "philanthropist" category we can add to each person's Wikipedia artilce. Frankly, I think there are way too many people who deserve to list than we can list in a practical manner in this one article. Rklawton 17:23, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

According to this criterion, mother Teresa would be out of the list. Please don't do that! Kowloonese 02:13, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm more concerned with notability. Who are *notable* philanthropists, not people who just the fit the broad definition. One rule to follow (but not the decisive one) is to make sure "philanthropist" appears on the biographical page for a nominee. If philanthropy doesn't exist or stand the test on the target's article, then it doesn't belong here. Bill Clinton is a notable President (and most of them do charity work), but he's not a philanthropist. His activities are more like his occupation, not a sacrifice. -- 02:45, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

The first part where a philanthropist is explained is great. The rest of the list looks like plagiarism from Who's Who of philanthropists. The Greatest philanthropists by amount of USD looks like a contest. Worse, Bill Gates is on the list by excluding Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen with his trust violations in his business practices. Maybe Jim or Marc would have given more money away or to different causes had Bill Gates not trampled their company. So this Who's Who list makes a philanthropist look like the greediest people on the planet! Yes, I reference the debate over the removal and re-addition of Mother Teresa to the Who's Who list here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Holidaypepsi (talkcontribs) 02:51, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

list order[edit]

The list started out in alphabetical order by the surname. When people added to the list, they didn't sort in the proper order. Now the list is only mostly sorted. Perhaps a line should be added to the top to specify the sort order explicitly. Kowloonese 02:18, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


{{ POV-because|Does not approach article from neutral standpoint, gives opinions }}

Dear in the abscence of any in depth discussion of the reason for adding the POV-because template to the article, I'm removing it from the main article, and placing it here on the talk page. If anyone feels the need to restore it, feel free to do so, but please give more detail on why you think the article is not NPOV. (Better yet, just Be Bold and fix the article.) - That said, the article is just a stub/definition. Should it be merged with philanthropy instead? -- 19:10, 8 June 2006 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

  • Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. --Ixfd64 03:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Either include information with listings or delete this article[edit]

As it is, this is a prime example for a bad list. Simply adding people's names does not provide any advantage over Category:Philanthropists, but all the usual disadvantages. Unless people consistently add information to explain why someone is listed it would be wiser to delete this article and concentrate on the category instead.
Sebastian (talk) 01:56, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree, an article specifically on the notable acts of philanthropy themselves would be a valuable contribution to wikipedia but this is just a random list of people.
--Superslash 17:36, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. I think that you both have the wrong attitude. I would be impressed if you rolled up your shirtsleeves, followed some links in the list, and then personally added some annotations to the list (in this case a brief note describing what acts of philanthropy the person is known for). In most cases, the article about each person presents their philanthropic acts. Rather than talk about what others should do to prevent you from deleting the article, you should be philanthropic and prevent yourselves from deleting it by fixing the article. Deleting articles does not impress me, because that just wastes whatever work went into them. It applies all-or-nothing reasoning to articles, along the line of "since this article isn't complete, it doesn't belong on Wikipedia." Fortunately, there are far more articles on Wikipedia than the deleters can keep up with. Don't be a deleter, be a fixer. I did some work on the article, but I don't have much time these days. You should either fix the article yourselves or just leave it alone so that it will be here when another interested editor comes along and fixes it. SFriendly.gif  The Transhumanist   12:24, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
In the meantime, I had another idea: How about if we delete all entries that do not mention why they're listed and turn the rest into a table? Instead of long prose, we could just have columns like "Arts", "Sport", "Libraries", "Foundations", and so on. This is more work, but it could turn into something useful. If you like the idea, let's discuss which columns make sense. If not, let's bring this article to WP:AfD.
Sebastian (talk) 21:45, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Why do you have a bias towards deleting? It isn't that much harder to fill in the missing descriptions. Are you too lazy to contribute to articles? In the amount of time spent on these discussions, many annotations could have been written instead. By the way, moving material to the talk page is usually a better option than simply deleting it, because there it can further developed until ready to be moved back to the page.  The Transhumanist   12:24, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I suggest that we merge this article with philanthropy. --Ixfd64 03:30, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
What exactly do you have in mind? Adding the whole list as it is to the article? That would become a long article - there are thousands of philanthropist out there, and our category and subcategories already covers hundreds. And it wouldn't be any better quality.
Sebastian (talk) 04:08, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
There are thousands of philosophers too, and Wikipedia has a huge multi-page list devoted to them. From an encyclopedic perspective, philanthropists deserve no less coverage. Lists are superior to categories in many ways. Most significantly, they can be improved at any time, which makes them superior to categories from the outset. Categories can't have anotations, for example. So a list with the exact same entries in it is better, because it has the potential to have annotations. Lists can be structured. Lists have edit histories, while categories do not; you can track disappearing entries on lists. If an entry disappears from a category, you probably wouldn't notice it missing unless you were looking specifically for it. Lists can be built or expanded faster because they can be edited directly - this makes them centralized. Categories are decentralized and cannot be edited directly - you have to edit each individual article by adding category tags to them - moving between pages can be very time-consuming. Server delays don't apply when you are editing a single page.  The Transhumanist   12:24, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Jerzy's proposal to retrieve the good parts from the edit history[edit]

_ _ User:SebastianHelm proceeded to a ProD. I'm removing the tag, without prejudice, bcz i think more groundwork needs to be laid for it to be properly evaluated. The question User:Ixfd64 has quite properly raised amounts to "what about Philanthropist requires it to be treated as distinct from Philanthropy?", and i don't think we can presume to dismiss that without examining what has been in the article that does not belong in List of philanthropists, and might be better covered under this title than under Philanthropy. I'm prepared to accept the answer "Nothing!", based on evidence, but not "Are you kidding? Obviously nothing!". My own contribution to the article was simply restatement and a rdr bypass, i think, but i see that it did concern what purported to be just such material.
_ _ There have been about 300 edits to the article, and reviewing them to see such content would be horrible. I intend to review the first 50, and construct a talk sub-page that includes only the non-list material, and whose history page will essentially model the history that Philanthropist would have, if someone had promptly said "Philanthropist and List of philanthropists are two different topics, and all the editors had accepted that approach. As such, not all of those 50 will have corresponding edits on the sub page: many edits will surely have affected only the list. The result of that 50-edit review may suggest to others whether carrying the exercise further is or isn't worthwhile.
--Jerzyt 05:08 & 05:52, 8 December 2006 (UTC) modifying lk as suggested

Those are definitely good points. Come to think of it, I think that renaming the article to list of philanthropists would be more appropriate. --Ixfd64 05:12, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, these are good points. My answer would not have been "Nothing - exclamation point", but:
  • "Nothing that justifies a separate article. It's like distinguishing between France and French people. Oh, wait, we do have an article for each. But the latter barely escaped deletion."
But since you're volunteering to look at the first 50 versions I'm happy. Let's wait what you'll find out. There were indeed some versions such as Ævar's version that contained nice text. — Sebastian (talk) 06:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
_ _ Well, so much for doing the first 50. It wasn't quite a matter of trying to eat one potato chip, but a little more like picking at your sunburn when it starts to peel. In short, i went thru the 300, which wasn't quite horrible. There have been up to three paragraphs, and while they don't focus clearly on the role of philanthropist, i think there was some degree of talking about philanthropists and how they are seen, as distinct from what IMO belongs in Philanthropy, i.e., the work that gets done philanthropically: e.g., the mechanisms for coordination of independently initiated work, its effect in avoiding the limitations of political and business decision making, frauds under the guise of philanthropy, the pattern of borderline institutions that come under attack for bureaucratic or selfish factors that lead to unusually high overhead expenses.
_ _ My principle observations:
  1. The article has repeatedly gotten whipsawed via the inclusion of two pretty distinct topics, the listing of philanthropists and prose on the role. I think there is no need for them to be together, logical reason to be separated, no real benefit to putting them in one article, and confusion from combining them. Both aspects seem to have suffered from editors whose apparent thrust was "what's this [list or prose] doing cluttering up [the other]?
  2. Neither the list nor the prose has been adequately maintained. In fact, from its peak, the prose got vandalized, and in short order whittled down to a dictdef, probably largely due to the vandalized text being neglected until responded to in the only two edits of a presumably well-intentioned editor who probably had no thot of looking for what it could be reverted back to. I'm restoring the pre-vandalism version.
  3. There has been considerable discussion about when lists are good or bad ideas, and i'm not certain that there's a clear consensus about whether/when. For all its faults (starting with the relatively small number of bios that have gotten included), i think LoPbN has found strong support on the grounds that large Cats get subdivided, and for some users the subdivision makes searching for someone (esp. someone whose name is for any of various reasons poorly recalled) impractical. LoPbN does not pretend to be an article, but finds support bcz it is valuable among the navigation devices that also include Rdrs, Dabs, and Cats.
  4. IMO the portmanteau function of the article serving as both list and prose impedes the addressing of the questions of whether the prose is needed and whether the list is needed. If this got to AfD, i think i'd argue for (something i don't recall seeing called for) Keep & Unmerge, creating a list and a prose stub, hopefully better able to develop independently. And before it does, i'd rather see that tried.
  5. I'm not sure how to get more maintenance for the list and more research for the article. I'm fearful the article just takes more expertise than we are likely to mobilize soon. I have some sense from LoPbN that steady, prompt RC-patrol-like work discourages a lot of vandalism, vanity, and quirky conceptions of what a list could be converted to, and frees some effort that can be used to clean up the the backlog. Is the commitment there? A clear conception of why a list has value guides and motivates cleanup of that list. Is the commitment there for threshing out that conception?
  1. We have enough maintainers right here. It doesn't need to be finished in a day. Add a few annotations a day, and the list will be completely annotated before you know it. While we're working on it, we'll notice any additions and can remove them if they are crap.  The Transhumanist   12:38, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
No doubt i've left out several points more valuable than these; i think i should sleep.
--Jerzyt 09:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, you did. Here's one: all the expertise you need is already included in Wikipedia. All you have to do is look it up. And that's super easy, because the links are already provided in the list! Three or four people (as many as are in these conversations) would be enough to complete the annotations on the list in a few days if each one of us filled in 3 or 4 entries per day. I have enough time for that. Don't you?  The Transhumanist   12:38, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

This article should be kept, not merged. The list focuses on philanthropists, not philanthropy. If the list was of acts of philanthropy with the annotations naming who did them, then yes, it would fit the context of the philanthropy article.  The Transhumanist   12:38, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

These need annotations[edit]

There was so much mention above of deleting these because they lack explanation, that I thought it would be a good idea just to move them here until someone adds annotations to them.

Clean up complete[edit]

Now you can expand the article at your leisure.  The Transhumanist   13:00, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks a lot to both you and Jerzy - the article is better than ever now! I am quite confident that the fact that all bullets contain annotations will discourage much of the unexplained additions we have seen of late. — Sebastian (talk) 19:31, 8 December 2006 (UTC)


If the list grows large, then we can keep the most notable examples here, and present the whole list on its own page, calling it the "List of philanthropists".  The Transhumanist   22:45, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

As it is now, the article is little more than a list; why don't we just move this to List of philanthropists now, since anything we say about philanthropists is just going to be redundant with the main philanthropy article. Night Gyr (talk/Oy) 21:42, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I support the move if the list grows significantly. Currently it looks more like examples than a Wikipedia list to me. PrimeHunter 00:56, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I removed the only external link "Information about famous philanthropist Andrew Carnegie" and gave the edit summary "External links to single philanthropists are more suited for their own article". [1] This article largely seems to me like a list of other articles and I think we usually only make external links in the other articles in such cases. If an external link covered several philanthropists then I might support it here. PrimeHunter 03:23, 10 December 2006 (UTC)


in the beginning paragraph, aswell as many other paragraphs throughout this article, ive noticed several cases of minor or extreme bias or opinion, such as "(such as funding art instead of fighting world hunger)". should this article be more closely policed for instances like this? Krispykorn 00:47, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Imran Khan[edit]

Imran Khan should be on the list too. He worked countless hours on Skukat Memorial Hospital -SKMH. Imran Khan, former cricketer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). PrimeHunter (talk) 00:51, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Why is the entire article written with capslock on?[edit]

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

It was vandalized yesterday. I fixed it 18 hours before your post. If you still see the vandalized version then try to bypass your cache. PrimeHunter (talk) 20:52, 2 April 2008 (UTC)


Most agreed on the move to the new name, so I did it. I realize there wasn't complete consensus at the time, but nothing has been happening lately. When articles like today's featured J. K. Rowling link to philanthropist they probably want the philanthropy article, not this one. I glanced at some of the backlinks to philanthropist and it seemed like the best choice.

I removed the merge proposition on both pages due to the name change, if anyone disagrees please feel free to put them back. --B Fizz (talk) 13:55, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

               ==  Start-up capitol for my Business ==
                       My name is Thomas Jones, I came onto this site looking for financial help to start my business. However, I fell into bad credit thru efforts to help to pull together with family members, Big Mistake!! I will not give up my Dream of owning my own marketing and distribution buiness. My ideas are great, but with no money or credit-ideas are just a thought with no path to follow!!  I am asking for donations from those on position to help- please donate to my dream!     Thank You     Forward all responses to P.O.Box 922 Yazoo City, Ms. 39194   662-746-0028 home Number  email address  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:07, 8 October 2008 (UTC) 

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal; money pledged but not given[edit]

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal has pledged he will donate $32 billion but has not actually donated it as of now. I don't think this qualifies him to be on the top of the list until it is actually donated. Is a pledge significant enough to allow for already being placed on the list?

Flessner89 (talk) 23:53, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Add More Philanthropists[edit]


I've found a great resource to add some American Philanthropists from the past:

I'd like to add the following philanthropists to the wikipedia "List of Philanthropists" page with short bios and a citation to their bio on the Philanthropy Roundtable's site:

Bernice Pauahi Bishop

Peter Cooper

Bill Daniels

St. Katharine Drexel

James Duke

Harry Earhart

George Eastman

Thomas Eddy

Don Fisher

Zachary Fisher

Benjamin Franklin

Mary Elizabeth Garrett

Stephen Girard

Conrad Hilton

Ima Hogg

Herbert Hoover

Ewing Kauffman

W. K. Kellogg

Sebastian Kresge

Eli Lilly

Nicholas Longworth

Alfred Loomis

Oseola McCarty

Nettie Fowler McCormick

Andrew Mellon

J. P. Morgan

John Olin

Raymond Orteig

David Packard

George Peabody

Thomas Perkins

J. Howard Pew

Henry Phipps Jr.

Enoch Pratt

Julius Rosenwald

Margaret Olivia Sage

Ellen Browning Scripps

William Simon

Robert Smith

James Smithson

Leland Stanford

Nathan Straus

John Templeton

Judah Touro

William Volker

Madam C. J. Walker

John Walton

George Washington

Isaiah Williamson

Please let me know you thoughts on this.

Livy17 (talk) 21:08, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

Mr. T[edit]

The list states that he "donated all his gold to charity." No source is listed for this claim. At Mr. T's article, it states "He stopped wearing virtually all his gold, one of his identifying marks, after helping with the cleanup after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He said, "As a Christian, when I saw other people lose their lives and lose their land and property ... I felt that it would be a sin before God for me to continue wearing my gold. I felt it would be insensitive and disrespectful to the people who lost everything, so I stopped wearing my gold." That's considerably different from saying that he "donated all his gold to charity". If a proper source cannot be found to support the claim, it should be removed. Bricology (talk) 22:47, 17 August 2017 (UTC)

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New addition[edit]

Greetings. I'm Andrew with MicroStrategy. For the list of Notable philanthropists, can editors consider Michael J. Saylor? Mr. Saylor is the founder and CEO of MicroStrategy, but he also established a charitable foundation and launched the non-profit Saylor Academy, which offers free and open online education. The Saylor Academy has been mentioned in The Washington Post, Inside Philanthropy, and Inside Higher Ed, among other places.

As a member of MicroStrategy's digital marketing team, I will not make edits relating to Michael J. Saylor myself. Would an editor be willing to add him to this list for me? I kindly thank you in advance.


Andrewggordon84 (talk) 20:45, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

@Mati Roy: Since you recently added some notable philanthropists to this list, can you also consider my request to add Michael J. Saylor, the founder of MicroStrategy who also established a charitable foundation and launched the non-profit Saylor Academy, which offers free and open online education? As a member of MicroStrategy's digital marketing team, I will not make edits relating to Michael J. Saylor myself.
Andrewggordon84 (talk) 16:30, 4 January 2019 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't know enough about it. -- Mati Roy (talk) 21:56, 4 January 2019 (UTC)

Yeesh. This is a highly questionable list without criteria. After all, the number of wealthy people who don't found, or at least fund, either a charity or educational institution is rather small, as a tax writeoff if nothing else. So what is stopping this list from being "list of wealthy people"? Presumably we want this to be a list of people specifically noted for their philanthropy. Bill Gates, Andrew Carnegie, sure. But Larry Ellison? From his article "has donated 1% of his wealth to charity" ... err ... that's not really that a big %. What keeps this list from becoming a copy of Category:Philanthropists? Honestly, if it were up to me to maintain this list, I'd either delete it, or at least pare it down to the table sorted by amount given. --GRuban (talk) 03:12, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@Mati Roy and GRuban: Thanks both for giving this a look! Since there is not consensus, I will leave this for now - I really appreciate the feedback.
Andrewggordon84 (talk) 19:37, 27 February 2019 (UTC)