Ted Turner Made Philanthropy Cool Again

Kristof: Billionaires have taken up the cause, except for Donald Trump
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2012 1:44 PM CST
UN Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner addresses the New African Connections conference hosted in Oslo, Norway, on June 21, 2011.   (AP Photo / Stuart Ramson/Insider Images for UN Foundation, HO)

(Newser) – Fifteen years ago, Ted Turner announced he was giving away $1 billion to UN causes such as fighting poverty, clearing landmines, and helping refugees. While that was one of the largest philanthropic giveaways ever, more important was the example it set for America's richest, helping to revive the tradition of great philanthropists like Rockefeller and Carnegie, writes Nicholas Kristof at the New York Times.

Turner's pressure led to huge gifts by the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, and a shift in behavior among the uber-rich. In fact, he thinks Gates will be remembered more for his work on behalf of the world's poor than for his business prowess. Despite many rich Americans stepping up their charitable donations, Kristof points out one big exception: "If you’re still reading, Donald Trump, it’s your move." Read the full column here. (Read more Nicholas Kristof stories.)

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