The Top 10 Black Celeb Philanthropists of All Time

These ten pay more than lip service to giving back.


Black Voices has compiled a list of the top ten celebrity philanthropists of all time. Below are just a few

Lou Rawls

Remember "The Lou Rawls Parade of Stars"? When the legendary crooner passed away in 2006 at the age of 72, he had helped the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) raise over $200 million dollars to benefit over 65,000 college students. Rawls never had the opportunity to attend college, so he made it his priority to ensure that students, regardless of their income, are able to attend and graduate from college. Michael Lomax, the president and CEO of UNCF shared in a 2006 interview, "Lou did not receive the kind of recognition that he deserved. He was someone who [came along] before entertainers recognized that celebrity could be used for humanitarian purposes -- and that's been lionized by people like Bono (of the rock band U2) -- [Lou] was already doing that." (Source: The Non Profit Times, Feb. 1, 2006)

Oprah Winfrey

"I believe that education is freedom. I believe that education saved my life." - Oprah

Oprah Winfrey is probably one of the most well known philanthropists in the world. With a fortune exceeding $2.3 billion, her charitable contributions are numerous. Through her charitable foundations, Oprah's Angel Network, the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, it is estimated that her giving exceeds $300 million. Although she experienced hardships during her childhood, she excelled in school and has made it a priority to ensure that children all over the world get a quality education. In 2007, she opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, a free residential school for girls in South Africa, and in December 2009, gave the students at the Ron Clark Academy, a private middle school in inner city Atlanta an early Christmas gift -- $1.5 million dollars!