Maybe you haven't heard of Robert Pittman, but the Mississippi-born media mogul has been involved with some of the most well-known media companies of the last quarter century. He's the cofounder and programmer who led the team that created MTV, and once served as CEO of MTV. He's also held CEO positions at AOL Networks, Six Flags Theme Parks, Quantum Media, Century 21 Real Estate, and Time Warner Enterprises. These days, Pittman chairs and serves as CEO of iHeartMedia.
Pittman is no billionaire, and it's unclear exactly how much he's worth. But he has enough extra cash on hand to give some away, and Pittman and his wife Veronique Choa Pittman conduct philanthropy through the Pittman Family Foundation. Here are a few facts about the Pittmans' philanthropy:
1. Fighting Poverty is a High Priority
Pittman once chaired the antipoverty giant the Robin Hood Foundation, and currently sits on the board of directors. $50,000 went to Robin Hood alone in 2013. Support has also gone to Youth Villages, which runs a host of programs supporting at-risk youth, Harlem Children's Zone, Feed the Hungry, and Global Goods Partners, which describes itself as a "sustainable lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering women around the globe."
2. Veronique Plays a Large Role in the Couple's Philanthropy
Veronique Choa Pittman is the CIO of Green Schools Alliance, which connects and empowers schools worldwide to lead the transformation to global sustainability. In fact, Veronique is an activist concerned about issues such as sustainability, and women's reproductive rights. Grantmaking in this area incldues support of the Captain Planet Foundation, Global Environmental Options, the Rainforest Foundation, the Fresh Air Fund, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, and Environmental Advocates of New York, among others.
3. The Couple Also Has An Interest in Arts and Health
Perhaps the largest gift by the Pittmans was a 2001 $30 million grant made to Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art Design in Washington, D.C., a gift made in concert with another former AOL CEO and his wife. Pittman also used to chair New York’s Public Theater and sits on the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Recent money has gone to New York City Ballet, and the Public Theater. Pittman, who was once a radio announcer, also has supported radio.
In health, meanwhile, Pittman sits on the board of the Alliance for Lupus Research, which received $90,000 in 2014, and over $120,000 in 2011. Other outfits receving support include the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the International Women's Health Coalition.
Looking at recent grantmaking by the Pittman Family Foundation, it's rare that a grant exceeds $100,000. The foundation has done just under $400,000 in grantmaking annually in 2012 and 2013.
Related: Robert Pittman Guide