December is always the time to look back on the year. It’s time to reminisce over the adventures you’ve been on, and the people who we’ve lost on the way. We wanted to dedicate this post to the great philanthropists who have sadly left us this past year.
Paul Allen died the age of 65 on the 15th October. He gained his fortune by co-founding Microsoft with Bill Gates back in 1974 but unfortunately got diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1982, and therefore had to give up most of his responsibilities at the business.
No matter his health, Allen pushed forward and went into remission. His money grew and with it his responsibility to give back. He was always very close with his sister, so together they created the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The foundation concentrated on Energy needs and climate change, Biodiversity on land and sea, Helping young people, Arts and education, Advance scientific and technology, and help vulnerable populations.
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation donated more than $494 million to over 1,500 nonprofits by 2010, and Paul on his own donated over $2 billion to different causes! He was also a part of the Giving Pledge, promising to give away at least 50% of his wealth – whether in life or death. Paul was recognised for his philanthropy around the world and received the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy and Inside Philanthropy’s ‘Philanthropist of the Year’.
In the end, his cancer came back and took this great man from us.
At the ripe age of 101, Muriel Leventhal lived a long, inspiring life. Described as a ‘queit philanthropist’ as she never wanted recognition or praise for her giving. She simply believed that it was the right thing to do.
Her husband, Norman B. Leventhal, was well known for his generous giving however without his loving wife, he would be penniless. The Beacon Companies (where they made their money) only came to be thanks to Muriel Leventhal. She had managed to save enough money whilst working and studying for her degree, that she was able to loan Norman $3000 in 1946. That is equivalent to $40,635.82 today!
Muriel Leventhal’s main form of philanthropy was allowing people the education they deserved. She would pay for students college funds as she believed that was the best way for people to thrive.
For 40 years, Mrs Leventhal was a volunteer at the Boston Children’s Hospital, working from 9 a.m. to noon. And in the end, The Muriel and Norman B. Leventhal Family Foundation went on to donate $1 million for the hospital to spend however it wanted.
“Her generosity was quiet,” Mrs Leventhal’s son Mark wrote in a passage he contributed to the eulogy. “I’m not sure we will ever have a complete accounting of the ways she enabled others to thrive.”
Henry Arnhold, a German investment banker who ran companies overseeing more than $100 billion in assets, died at age 96 in his home in Manhattan after a heart attack.
The German Jewish banker escaped Nazi persecution and was able to re-establish his family business in the ‘New World’ and helped to rebuild Dresden, the Free State of Saxony Germany.
Arnhold was well known for his philanthropy, giving millions of dollars each year to his three favourite causes; the environment, the arts and helping refugees. He also funded scholarships at the New School, a university in New York City ranked number 1 in art and design in the US. And his lead funding for PBS allowed for millions of new viewers to watch the show ‘Nature’.
Jon Huntsman Sr.
Jon Huntsman Sr. was known for the creation of the Big Mac clamshell case, which made him millions of dollars, yet this isn’t what he’ll be remembered for. His business and entrepreneur spirit is what got him to a position which allowed him to help so many others.
Being the son of a potato farmer in Utah, Huntsman Sr knew how hard it was to grow up with very little. After both of his parents were diagnosed with cancer and lost their battle, Jon Huntsman created the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah with a $10 million grant, and in the years since, he and his family donated more than $1.4 billion to cancer research.
Sadly the names continue; H.F. Lenfest, Clayton Riddell, David Rockefeller, Richard DeVos, Alex Spanos, John H. Bryan Jr. and many more. All these amazing people helped to shape the world and give people a catch they normally wouldn’t have. They helped the environment, science and medical research, education and people all over the world. We hope to see the rise of others that can fill their shoes, but for now, we grieve the loss of 2018.