And the most giving is ...

2008-09-12 11:31

Los Angeles - She's been named as the highest-paid TV celebrity and one of the world's most powerful women, but American talk-show host Oprah Winfrey is also a big giver, topping a list of the 30 most generous celebrities for the second year running.

The second annual list, compiled by The Giving Back Fund, a group that seeks to encourage philanthropy, put Oprah in the top slot with The Oprah Winfrey Foundation and Oprah's Angel Network spending $50.2m in 2007 on education, health care, and advocacy for women and children worldwide.

Second place on the list, published in the latest edition of Parade magazine, went to trumpeter and A&M records co-founder Herb Alpert with The Herb Alpert Foundation spending $13m on education, including the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Singer-actress Barbra Streisand came third in the list that was based on public records of donations made in 2007, with $11m donated by The Streisand Foundation to the environment, women's issues, civil rights, Aids research, and advocacy.

Fourth place went to Paul Newman who gave $10m to the Scholarship for Kenyon College, his alma mater in Gambier, Ohio, while Mel Gibson was in the fifth slot, giving $9.9m to the Holy Family Church in Malibu, California.

Encouragement by example

The next five slots on the list were taken by Hollywood glamour couple Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who run The Jolie-Pitt Foundation that has been actively involved in rebuilding New Orleans and refugee aid, and cyclist Lance Armstrong whose foundation raises money for cancer research.

Tied in seventh place were former basketball player Michael Jordan giving $5m to Hales Franciscan High School, an African-American all-boys school in Chicago, and Canada's ex-ice hockey player Eric Lindros who donated $5m to the London Health Sciences Centre, a Canadian hospital where he was treated.

Rounding out the top 10 was talk radio host Rush Limbaugh who gave $4.2m to children of marines and law-enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

Marc Pollick, president of the Los Angeles-based fund, said The Giving Back 30 list was set up to encourage by example, as people could not help but be influenced by the generosity of their peers.