NET WORTH: $220 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Actor
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, African American Arts & Culture, Health
OVERVIEW: Sam Jackson and his wife LaTanya do their grantmaking through the Samuel and LaTanya R. Jackson Foundation, which has given modestly of late. Funding priorities include youth, health, and the arts. Jackson and LaTanya also support their HBCU alma maters. The couple is a top supporter of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
BACKGROUND: Samuel L. Jackson was born in 1948 in Washington, D.C., and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Jackson graduated from Morehouse College in 1972. He moved to New York City where his friendship with Spike Lee helped him land his first movie gigs, School Daze and Do the Right Thing. In 1994, he he landed a role in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Other roles include Jurassic Park, Jungle Fever, Patriot Games, and several films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2011, the Guinness Book of World Records named him the highest-grossing actor of all time, with his movies to that point taking in more than $7.4 billion.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Jackson and LaTanya via their foundation support organizations like Children’s Defense Fund, Girls Inc., After School Matters, and Anastasia Brighter Horizon Foundation, which seeks to "guide talented teenagers within the United States foster care system towards an opportunity for a secure and successful future in the beauty industry." Jackson has supported his alma mater Morehouse and its medical school. LaTanya has also supported her school, Spelman. A component of their work also takes place on a global level. They have lent their support, for instance, to Daraja Academy, a school for Kenyan girls.
ARTS & CULTURE: The Jacksons via their foundation support African-American arts institutions. They support The Studio Museum, New Federal Theatre, True Colors Theatre Company in Georgia, and Ebony Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles. They have also strongly supported Smithsonian Institution, and made at least $1 million in grants to Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture.
HEALTH: The Jacksons support the Alzheimer's Foundation; The Not Alone Foundation, which deals with kidney disease; Artists for a New South Africa, to combat HIV/AIDS, and Hollyrod Foundation, which focuses on autism and Parkinson's disease. Jackson has been outspoken about a stuttering problem, though grantmaking of late, at least through the family's foundation, has not keyed in on this issue.
LOOKING FORWARD: In his late 60s, Jackson is someone to watch for greater grantmaking down the line. It is worth noting that the family may have other more direct avenues of grantmaking, and some important grants may be missing from this analysis.
The Samuel and LaTanya R. Jackson Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch, but below is an address:
The Samuel and LaTanya R. Jackson Foundation
11812 San Vicente Blvd., Ste. 4
Los Angeles, CA 90049