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Many benevolent wealthy Americans make a point of giving back by sharing their success with others. Some develop foundations designed to address specific research or world issues. Others prefer donating funds to favorite non-profit charities. The names of some of the most generous philanthropists are world-renowned.


Warren Buffett


The investment guru has a net worth of $90 billion. In the last five years, Buffett gave $14.7 billion or 16.3 percent of his wealth to a number of charities. His charitable efforts have been focused on alleviating poverty and healthcare initiatives. Buffett’s other interests include the foundations established by his children that are geared toward education and women’s rights.


Bill and Melinda Gates


The Microsoft mogul and his wife were shocked and dismayed to learn about the number of children dying from preventable diseases in third-world countries. The couple vowed to make a difference in the lives of children and established their foundation. Since 2000, the nonprofit organization has spent $53.7 billion dollars in an attempt to reduce poverty and provide better healthcare. Monies have gone to grants, medical supplies, and educational tools that benefit children worldwide.


George Soros


The Hungarian-born philanthropist understands firsthand about discrimination and social injustice. He was a child during WWII when the Nazi occupation cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews. He gained financial success after founding the Soros Fund Management in 1973. Six years later, he established the Open Society Foundations, which consists of more than 20 foundations around the world. In the last five years, Soros donated $3.1 billion, or 37.4 percent of his assets, toward criminal justice reform, human rights initiatives, free media, and voter rights.


Jim and Marilyn Simons


Jim Simons is a former college math professor and current hedge fund manager. His wife earned a PhD. in economics. The couple’s love of education influenced their decision to establish the Simons Foundation, which has a special interest in STEM education and research. The foundation funds scientific research on many topics and strives to construct a network of skilled math and science teachers. The Simons also donated funds to the New York Genome and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the Autism Research Institute. Recently, the couple donated $1.65 billion of their $21.6 billion net worth.