NET WORTH: $240 million
CAUSES: Humanitarian, Global Development, Health
OVERVIEW: Much of Brad Pitt’s charitable work has come about as a result of his ex-wife’s deep involvement in humanitarian issues, but he did take the lead in creating an organization to help rebuild New Orleans, and has been outspoken on marriage equality.
BACKGROUND: Brad Pitt grew up in Oklahoma and Missouri, and attended the University of Missouri, but dropped out two weeks before graduating to move to Los Angeles and pursue acting. He has since been hugely successful as both an actor and producer of films, accumulating significant wealth. Much of Pitt’s involvement in charity came as a result of Jolie’s longstanding interest in humanitarian causes in developing countries, and her desire to make sure her adoptive children are connected to their heritage.
GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT & CONSERVATION: Much of Pitt’s humanitarian, global development, and conservation work is a result of his marriage to Jolie. She had been working as a UN ambassador and adopted a child from Cambodia several years before the couple started dating; she was in the process of turning her Cambodian property and wildlife refuge into a Millenium Village Project when she started dating Brad. The couple has also funded conservation efforts in places like Namibia, and has put millions into the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Project and other causes, including proceeds from the sale of photos of their kids, and their 2014 wedding.
HUMANITARIAN: Pitt founded the Make It Right Foundation in the wake of hurricane Katrina, making an initial donation of $5 million to rebuild New Orleans, and bringing together a number of architects and contractors, with a focus on green housing. Along with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, David Pressman, and Jerry Weintraub, Pitt also co-founded Not On Our Watch, an organization that aims to prevent mass atrocities. He and Jolie have also donated $1 million to relief and refugee organizations in Chad and Sudan, $1 million to a U.N. Pakistani refugee agency, $1 million to Global Action for Children, and have also been active in helping rebuild Haiti.
HEALTH: In honor of two of their children, Jolie and Pitt established health centers in Cambodia and Ethiopia to treat children with AIDS and tuberculosis. Pitt is also a supporter of the ONE Campaign, has donated $1 million to Doctors Without Borders, and narrated a documentary for PBS on global health crises.
LGBT: In 2006, Pitt said that he and Angelina would not get married until everyone in the U.S. was able to do so. In 2008, he gave $100,000 to organizations that fought to overturn Proposition 8 in California, and in the Supreme Court.
JOURNALISM: One of the first donations Jolie and Pitt made together after creating a joint foundation was to the Daniel Pearl Foundation, which promotes mutual respect and understanding across cultures through journalism, music, and dialogue.
LOOKING FORWARD: As the Make It Right Foundation New Orleans project wraps up and marriage equality becomes the law of the land, Pitt may refocus to prioritize work on more recent humanitarian issues in Africa and the Middle East.
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