Oprah, Brangelina on Parade’s most generous celeb list

While some celebs are most known for spending all their time and money promoting themselves (or slapping their own name on other people’s work) a good many should be equally known for their good deeds, which includes donating large sums of money to charitable causes. Parade magazine (that little insert magazine that comes in your Sunday paper and has ads for hearing aid batteries and wonder bee pollen pills) compiled a list of the 30 most generous celebrities.

Not surprisingly, Oprah came in number one. I’m pretty sure it’s a rule that she has to come in first place on any list. Even if the list were something like, “World’s tallest man,” or “Person who swam the most laps in a non-Olympic sized pool” somehow Oprah would still be best at it. Luckily this is a pretty awesome list to top, and she’s in good company.

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Oprah Winfrey tops a list of the 30 most generous celebrities, compiled by The Giving Back Fund and published in the Sept. 14 issue of Parade. The 54-year-old talk show host and media mogul gave out $50.2 million last year to causes including her foundation and Oprah’s Angel Network. Power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ranked sixth, with donations of $8.4 million in 2007. Among their interests: Pitt’s charity Make It Right, which is helping to rebuild New Orleans.

Rounding out the top five: musician Herb Alpert with $13 million; Barbra Streisand with $11 million; Paul Newman with $10 million; and Mel Gibson with $9.9 million. “Some stars set a bad example from time to time, so it’s nice to celebrate those who are doing good work,” Parade editor Janice Kaplan tells Us Weekly in its latest issue. “We can’t all give $50 million like Oprah, but she makes us understand that giving back matters,” Kaplan adds.

Athletes Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan and hockey player Eric Lindros tied for seventh place, with donations of $5 million each last year.

[From Us Weekly]

At first I was kind of confused about how Herb Alpert had $13 million to give away. Didn’t he have a few singles back in the day? Is there really that much money left in vinyl sales? Then Wikipedia generously reminded me that Herb Alpert is the “A” in A&M Records. Which makes more since than “Tijuana Taxi” netting that kind of cash.

Brangelina is no big surprise – they’ve made it clear that visible charity is a big part of their lifestyle. A lot of people get terse about why they have to be so obvious about it and make such a big deal about their good deeds. Whatever their reasoning, when they do that they also bring publicity to a cause, so there’s advantages for everyone.

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Here’s Oprah at the 20th Annual Whitesboro Reunion Festival at the Martin Luther King Community Center in Whitesboro, New Jersey on August 30th. Credit: WENN. Brad Pitt is shown at the Burn After Reading premiere at the Venice Film Festival on 8/27/08. Credit: Solarpix / PR Photos

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32 Responses to “Oprah, Brangelina on Parade’s most generous celeb list”

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  1. Kaiser says:

    Nice. It would be interesting to see the breakdowns of who gives how much, to which charities.

    I wonder what charities Babs is loyal to?

  2. Enonymous says:

    Good on them. Credit should be given when credit is due. 😀

  3. daisy424 says:

    😀 Amen, happy to see this 😀

  4. silentA says:

    Holy hell.
    Brad looks nice with that gray.

  5. Jen (the other one) says:

    God DAMN, he is a hot piece.

  6. Linda says:

    Only $8.4Mil from Brangelina – seems mighty cheap between the 2 of them and also considering that $2Mil of that came from selling Pax’s photo’s – according to my math, that would be about $3.2Mil that each of them contributed… Who would have thought that on an individual basis that Mel Gibson would be 3 times more generous then the self-proclaimed benevolent charity do-gooders! This is too funny!!!

  7. Jody says:

    ^^^^I don’t know if it’s so much about the dollar amount for them, as it the time and effort put towards a specific cause. Are rich people only allowed to donate money?

    It seems their goal might be to use their influence much more than their affluence.
    But that’s just my opinion.

  8. Syko says:

    I think any time a celebrity donates money to a charity, and that donation is publicly noted, that alone draws attention to the charity, may often prompt others to donate to it, and in itself is influence.

    Holy hell, I knew when I saw the list that someone was going to wonder why they didn’t give more. How much did you donate to charity last year, Linda?

  9. Linda says:

    Syko – I donated about 8% of my salary to charity last year and that doesn’t include what I throw into the Salvation Army buckets and the Firemen when they have their boot drives, etc.

    I also organized a Charity Dinner through my local Chamber of Commerce where we held a silent auction. In addition, I belong to a private local club where we raised money for our local food shelter with a Chili Cook-off contest and then we had a BBQ Cook-off where we raised funds for Juvenile Diabetes. I also just finished organizing a Charity Golf Outing at work where we raised funds for a local Children’s Hospital and I’m helping with another charity golf outing in October.

    But I’m not looking for any public praise and claim to be this great person for getting involved in Charity, it’s just a natural thing that most people are generous and donate to charities.

    Brangelina works OT to make sure everyone knows when they donate to charity and they have their PR machine making sure it’s in print and this just shows that Mel Gibson is more generous then they are!! The funny thing is – Mel Gibson could have used the good PR on charitable donations this year!!!

  10. Baholicious says:

    I agree it would be interesting to know which charities these celebrities are giving too. I suspect though they’re all tax-deductible (not all charities are I understand). Celebrities like to save money on their income tax just like anyone else so I would go so far to say: do they do this 100% out of the sheer goodness of their hearts? No.

  11. Mary says:

    I too applaud those that give away instead of creating perfumes, clothing lines etc. for themselves. When people do telethons, how much do they actually give, but it is their time and efforts that count. Some do nothing. The amount that Brad and Angelina gave is but a part of the entire picture. How many private citizens got that many homes built in New Orleans. It is more than money, it is making others see what is important, which is their strong suit. By the way, Oprah also announces all of her work. Who else did a special on her school that is named after herself? Brad and Angelina don’t do the press releases by the way, those that benefit do,mostly to get more money from others.

    Matt Damon has just started a new charity and gets nothing but praise and does exactly the same thing as others. And I bet he was influenced by his friends (Brad, along with Djimon Honshu (sp) started the One project with Bono in 2005 which has grown dramatically with Damon as a major spokesperson) to do more, which is the point.

  12. Enonymous says:

    Good on you too Linda, every little helps. 😀

  13. Baholicious says:

    P.S. I’m interested to know how Brad’s New Orleans charity is coming along. Jon Bon Jovi has been involved in building new, furnished homes for Katrina victims over the past few years. Families are moved in as each home is completed. Really admirable in part because it was such an understated endeavour in terms of publicity.

  14. Linda says:

    Oprah was also involved in rebuilding after Katrina and as of 2007 nearly 300 homes have been built or restored in eight communities across four states—Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.

    The Charity Make It Right that Brad is involved with has built 84 of the projected 150 houses.

    Jon Bon Jovi is very involved with Habitat for Humanity and I know that Habitat had a pet project headed by Harry Connick, Jr. called the musicians village and I think they built over 100+ homes in New Orleans.

  15. RAN says:

    Ahh, there’s a name I haven’t heard in a while… Harry Connick Jr. My heart has started to flutter just thinking about him 😉

  16. Orangeitjulius says:

    I’ll take Brad mid-week and Harry on the weekend…

  17. RAN says:

    Can I share the weekend? 8)

  18. Bodhi says:

    Good freaking god, some people would piss & moan about the little Dutch boy & the levee (or dyke, depends on how PC you are) if his last name was Pitt-Jolie

  19. Whitey Fisk says:

    Dear God, after that top photo of Brad and then the mention of Harry’s name, I’m feeling faint.

    Hmmm, I can’t seem to find Jennifer Aniston’s name on this list…

  20. Granger says:

    I’m so confused as to why someone would criticize someone else for not giving “enough” to charity. ANY amount of money helps, as does all of the publicity these celebs bring to their chosen causes.

  21. Bodhi says:

    Gah! My original comment is in moderation 🙄

    Here it is with the offending term edited:

    Good freaking god, some people would piss & moan about the little Dutch boy & the levee (or d@ke, depends on how PC you are) if his last name was Pitt-Jolie

  22. ThatBKChick says:

    Brad is killing it with that old “Fight Club” throw back cut!

  23. Oh Duhh says:

    Why is it so important for some people to compare who gave the most specially when they see the name jolie-pitt? at least they are giving and doing something to help others who are in needs. Don’t blame the Jolie-Pitts if every little thing they do is magnified a hundred times than other celebrities who do the same thing it’s because they are FAMOUS AND A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED TO KNOW like me .. the others never mind and FYI if ordinary folk like YOU (those who accused of JPs of doing charity for publicity)gave to charity and not being written well wonder no more YOU ARE NOT A CELEBRITY and nobody is interested to read about YOU!!

  24. Randy says:

    So they made 4 million from Shiloh and 2 million from Pax does that mean that they gave 2 million of their own money? That amount would put them way down on the list. I don’t think that money made off selling children should be included in how much a person gave. The other peole gave out of their income. Selling baby pictures is that really income?

  25. Ruby says:

    “Some stars set a bad example from time to time, so it’s nice to celebrate those who are doing good work…”

    And then there’s Mel Gibson, who somehow manages to do both ;- )

  26. JessG says:

    Let’s bear in mind that, for all these stacks ‘o cash that celebrities get, they lose about 1/2 to taxes. Brad and Angelina only had 1 mil from those pictures to donate. So let’s not get too critical about what percentage of income they keep to blow on their own upkeep and entertainment.
    Although it is ironic that people seem entitled to judge how people spend their wealth as soon as their payrate hits a certain amount. How very…democratic party of them.

  27. ~eyre~ says:

    I remember reading a few years back that Mel Gibson donated a ton of money to some hospital to help with surgeries to help separate conjoined twins. He also built a Catholic church for others to worship in out of his own money. Whoever or whatever you do to help others–it matters. From Danny Thomas with the St. Jude Hospital for children with cancer to our latest stars of today THANKS. We all have to be “do” bees to our fellow man. ~e~

  28. Judy says:

    I can’t see how anyone on her can complain about how other people spend their money lol It sounds like a pack of dirt poor people complaining because someone else has a job making big money and the dirt poor just “aint getting enough of it”. When you go build a 100 houses and give 8 million to charity then I think you may have something to complain about lol

  29. Michele says:

    Brad is definently aging well !!!

  30. Hmm says:

    Even a positive post brings out the knives. “Brangelina only gave 8 million, those cheapskates. Plus, they want to tell people about their charitable work.” I think it is amazing that some celebs do use their fame to make the world a better place. They deserve praise because there are a lot of people who made more money than Brangelina and they are nowhere on this list. Let’s give credit where credit is due. Yay, Oprah.

  31. MB Travis says:

    Oprah makes me want to hide underneath the bed. She’s like the scary lady from church who wants to tell you how to be good little boys and girls.

  32. the dude who was there says:

    Oprah being the great Philanthropist is well, great. It is interesting that during the Rodney King riots that she was safe above Compton in her helicopter giving her two cents on the issue. While churches Black, White, Mexican and many other races) were on the ground risking their lives helping the victims of the aftermath. But Oprahs word is gospel and she received national praise while the people on the ground received the reward of goodwill.