NET WORTH: $130 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Comedian & Actor
FUNDING AREAS: Arts & Culture, Health, Environment
OVERVIEW: Steve Martin does his grantmaking through the Steve Martin Charitable Foundation, which gives grants mainly in arts and culture, the environment, and health. Martin also funds the annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.
BACKGROUND: Steve Martin was born in 1945 in Waco, Texas, the son of a real estate executive. When he was young, Martin and his family moved to California. He enrolled in Long Beach State College to study philosophy, but soon transferred to the theater program at the University of California, Los Angeles. He left college to become a comedy writer for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, winning an Emmy Award in 1969. He released four comedy albums between 1977 and 1981, winning Grammy Awards for Let's Get Small and A Wild and Crazy Guy. In 1979, he starred in his first full-length feature film, The Jerk, and later went on to success with Father of the Bride, and numerous other films. In 2009, Martin released The Crow, a collection of banjo compositions that earned him the Grammy for Bluegrass Album of the Year. He has released several albums, including Love Has Come for You and So Familiar with Edie Brickell.
ARTS & CULTURE: Steve Martin Charitable Foundation grantees include MoMA, The Public Theater, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Whitney Museum of Art, Huntington Library, and Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater. In fact, the majority of the foundation's recent grantees are related to arts and culture. An avid banjoist, Martin established the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, a $50,000 award given annually. The 2016 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass was awarded to Rhiannon Giddens.
HEALTH: Steve Martin suffers from tinnitus, ringing or buzzing in the ears. He has supported the American Tinnitus Association. He has also supported the The Starkey Hearing Foundation, and Echo Foundation which advances education for hearing-impaired students.
ENVIRONMENT: Grantees include NRDC and TreePeople, which "promotes sustainable urban ecosystems in the Greater Los Angeles area."
LOOKING FORWARD: Martin's grantmaking prioritizes arts and culture organizations of late, above all else. Expect this to continue.
The Steve Martin Charitable Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch but below is an address:
Steve Martin Charitable Foundation
10960 Wilshire Blvd., No. 1900
Los Angeles, CA90024