NET WORTH: $75 million, estimated
FUNDING AREAS: Health, Humanitarian
OVERVIEW: Katie Couric's charitable work has been shaped by family tragedy, and led her to co-found the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance in honor of her late husband.
BACKGROUND: Katie Couric grew up just outside of Washington D.C., the daughter of a writer and a news editor. After attending the University of Virginia, she got a job at the ABC News bureau in Washington, followed by reporting roles at CNN, CBS, and NBC. In 1989, she joined Today as a national political correspondent, and quickly became a substitute, and then permanent co-anchor. More recently, she became the global anchor of Yahoo! News. Couric lost her first husband, Jay Monahan, to colorectal cancer in 1998, when Jay was just 42, and her sister Emily to pancreatic cancer a few years later.
HEALTH: After her first husband, Jay Monahan, died of colorectal cancer at the age of 42, Couric partnered with Lilly Tartikoff (wife of the late NBC president Brandon Tartikoff, who also died of cancer at a young age) and the Entertainment Industry Foundation to create the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA). Hosting two Hollywood Hits Broadway events, Couric raised millions for cutting edge research, helping to create the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. She also underwent an on-air colonoscopy and appeared in several public service announcements, raising awareness about early detection and prevention, and developed an advocacy campaign to mandate insurance coverage for preventative screenings, which resulted in more than a dozen states passing legislation. She’s also done work to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer and multiple myeloma, and helped co-found Stand Up 2 Cancer, which raises money for the NCCRA and other cancer research programs.
After her father died in 2011 from complications due to Parksinson’s, Couric became the honorary chair of the National Parkinson’s Foundation’s Moving Day campaign.
HUMANITARIAN: Couric is a supporter of the End Hunger Network, Worldwide Orphans Fund, and Habitat for Humanity.
LOOKING FORWARD: Just because Couric has stepped away from broadcast TV doesn’t mean she’s any less busy, and she’s certainly got plenty of good years left in journalism. Stand Up 2 Cancer is certainly a behemoth, with scores of A-list stars and an unheard-of simultaneous two-hour block on all three major networks, and more than a dozen other channels, so Couric has her hands pretty full with that, even if the event is only held every other year.