Money is the root of all evil. NOT! It’s time to break this myth wide open. In fact, money enables you to be yourself to your fullest (for better or for worse). Check out these stories of 25 millionaires who set out to do good. They made money and used it in the best ways possible. These are some admirable folks:
1. Phil Anschutz
Rich and Respected Because: When he learns that a former business associate who was then suing him has just had quintuple bypass surgery, Mr. and Mrs. Anschutz immediately offer to pray for the man’s recovery. He has funded more charities through his foundation than one can count: The University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora; a wing of Denver’s hospital devoted to breast cancer; $2 million plus to the Kempe Foundation for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect; $1 million to Outward Bound; in spite of criticism from the Hollywood “intelligentsia”, Mr. Anschutz stuck to his guns and has produced numerous family friendly films like THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA.
Rich and Respected Because: My favorite wealthy individual is Bill Draper, a venture capitalist who is wealthy in spirit as well as funds. He cares about other people, doesn’t have an attitude, and also has a wonderful foundation supporting entrepreneurs. He truly cares, and is constantly giving of himself. Most importantly, he is just a nice person.
Two more are John Morgridge, former CEO of Cisco, and Charly Kleissner, an entrepreneur and investor.
Rich and Respected Because: Best-selling author James Patterson should be on the top of the list for generous millionaires. He recently made a significant gift to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing,created a Web site to encourage reading, established national Page Turner Awards for libraries and schools that enoucrage the “joy of reading.”
Patterson’s wife, Susan, earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW-Madison.
James and Susan Patterson established the Lorraine and O.B. Solie Scholars Fund for those who plan to pursue doctorates in nursing; it offers $10,000 a year in scholarships.
With 39 New York Times best sellers, Patterson tops the list of best-selling authors. He recently established Read Kiddo Read, a Web site to encourage reading.
His Alex Cross detective series includes “Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls.” He also wrote his first young adult novel, “Maximum Ride,” which spent 12 weeks at the top of the NY Times chapter book list.
Patterson made national headlines with his Page Turner Awards, which honor schools, libraries and bookstores “doing a great job spreading the joy of reading.” He’s also established a need-based scholarship program at Manhattan College, where he earned his undergraduate degree.
Rich and Respected Because: Neither a brain tumor nor enormous wealth has stopped Ted Kennedy from fighting for the uninsured. Our health care costs are among the world’s highest and yet dozens of other countries do better than we at keeping infants alive, for example. Ted Kennedy has no reason to fight the existing system–other than genuine concern for people less fortunate than he. He wins my vote, even though it doesn’t count in his state.
Rich and Respected Because: Sheila C. Johnson and her former husband, Robert Johnson (they divorced in 2003) made their fortunes by founding the entertainment network BET. They sold the company to Viacom in 1997. Sheila C. Johnson is the world’s first black female American billionaire.
The reason for using the word “Salamander” as it correlates to Sheila C. Johnson’s Hospitality interests (Salamander Hospitality) is that the salamander symbolizes strength, courage and fortitude – the Salamander is the only living creature that can mythically walk through fire and survive; traits that Ms. Johnson identified with throughout her personal and business life.
Ms. Johnson is smart, savvy, astute and just enough above the radar to make it all happen without an overinflated ego getting in the way. She generously shares her good fortune (literally) by donating her time, money and resources. She encourages up and comers, her philanthropic efforts reach far beyond her local compass and if giving and doing wasn’t enough; Ms. Johnson is a hand’s on CEO overseeing her many business interests with a keen eye so that she can continue to give and do for others that ultimately will leave an indelible mark on this world of ours. Ms. Johnson was once quoted “I realized that after I graduated from high school, I always had a drive in me that desired to be the best that I could be, but still, I believed you should do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Johnson said in a 2002 speech at the State University of New York at Morrisville, as quoted by the New York Times.
And Ms. Johnson “who appears to have it all” is living true to the Golden Rule and sets a fine example for all to follow along in her footsteps, no matter how difficult the challenge, as we all have a bit of Salamander in us.
Rich and Respected Because: This wise-cracking, cigar-smoking, skirt-chasing, snake charmer of a man was a self-made, larger-than-life, kaleidoscope-colorful character.
Not only did he give ~ and give generously ~ to a multitude of individuals and philanthropic causes, he did so graciously.
After my mother and father divorced, Uncle Jack lent my mom tens of thousands of dollars for a down payment on a home so my mom, sisters and I could reside in a safe neighborhood and good school district. Years later, when my mom spoke to Jack about repaying the loan, he waived it off. He forgave the loan like some would say, “I’ll get this one” over a Starbucks scone & latte. I believe he did so because he knew it would be a heavy financial burden for my mother, a working single mother of 3, to repay the loan and that she needed the funds more than he did.
After his death, I learned Uncle Jack secretly lent one of his friends an unfathomably large amount of money so his friend and wife wouldn’t have to declare bankruptcy. With my Uncle Jack’s assistance, his friend made a full financial recovery. I would not know of this startling act of generosity, but for the fact that I noticed a book dedicated to my uncle while perusing his library. When I asked a family member what my uncle had done to merit a book dedication, I learned of the story.
Everyone adored Jack ~ men, women, children ~ it was simply impossible not to. He was a mischievous magnate, a lover of excess, a generous donor to countless worthy causes and simply a pleasure to behold.
Rich and Respected Because: Rosie Odonnell because I once heard her say in an interview that she told her money manager if she ever ended up on one of the riches people in the world lists that he or she would be fired. She gives a lot of money away to good causes.
Rich and Respected Because: He enters industries that have been historically dominated by major players and finds a unique way to still be successful. He also is in such diverse industries, yet he finds great people to manage them and makes them work.
Rich and Respected Because: … a women with a dream, took that dream and made it happen not only for herself but for women worldwide.
She was the first women to have the “you can do it attitude” that still holds today for us women making a difference in the world today. She won many awards for what she did, i wish I would of met her.
Rich and Respected Because: I admire Oprah for how much she gives. Sure, she is probably one of the most powerful women in the world – who else has the power to mention a book and turn it into a bestseller, but I admire her for what she does to help others have a better life. From the school she started in South Africa to her show The Big Give, she is an example of an admirable rich person.
Rich and Respected Because: I admire Donald Trump because he has raised, with his former wife, some incredible kids. I think parents greatest accomplishments are their kids and when I see well grounded kids, like Ivana and her brother, who have earned it themselves, I respect the parents. Ivana once said that the biggest thing her father said he would buy her, was the best education. After that, he told his kids, they were on their own.
Rich and Respected Because: John Assaraf pays attention and uses social media to better engage with his very large audience and gets to know them.
John leads by example, taking his life lessons and mistakes, is very transparent and shares them so that you can grow.
His passion and goals for life including having an impact on the rest of the world that will be lasting.
I reached out to him via a social media site; and he didn’t just respond with a thanks for RT. He paid attention to my comments and offered support and encouragement. Not only is he a best selling author but I got to see in person that he really lives what he teaches.
Rich and Respected Because: Not only are they VERY wealthy, they are dedicated to their causes and are making a HUGE difference in the world. This is the whole reason to make money…so you can make a difference.
Rich and Respected Because: As a writer (even though she’s fiction and I do mostly non-fiction) I read a book about her and she would write every night consistently and even supposedly went as far to say “This is how I’m going to get rich” (or something like that) and I think of it when I need to hunker down and get my own writing done. She kept at it until it clicked, and boy did it ever! I admire that.
Rich and Respected Because: The rich person I admire is Robert Kiyosaki, author of the famous Rich Dad Poor Dad series of books. I admire him for his vision and passion for promoting financial education, especially in an age where everyone else seems to be advocating getting a “stable” job or saving money (as opposed to making money). Self-made millionaires are the only millionaires that I admire and Robert Kiyosaki’s business is to teach people to believe that they can do it, which is why I admire him.
Rich and Respected Because: The poet Billie Collins has managed to not only make poetry popular, but he gets paid mega bucks for his readings. I hope he inspires others to do the same, he certainly gives me hope.
Rich and Respected Because: I admire Robert T Kiyosaki because his books are very inspiring and and educational. He started with nothing and made his millions. Anyone can learn from his easy to read books and do the same.
Rich and Respected Because: For a new entrepreneur like me, Donny Deutsch is the rich person/entrepreneur I most admire. Donny not only created a mega-ad agency but shares his road map to success. His BIG IDEA and THE ENTREPRENEURS are a great tutorial on the art and science of entrepreneurship.
Rich and Respected Because: Bill Draper is one of our leading venture capitalists, and equally important, he is smart, kind, generous with his time, and truly cares about our community. He is a man of integrity with openness, warmth and sincerity.
Rich and Respected Because: A woman that combines, beauty, grace & business savvy. She has inspired thousands of women with her information products & launched Ali Magazine in the fall of 2008. For the first time in history women have a magazine that gives you strategies to be successful & the tools to live a beautifully successful life from the inside/out!
Rich and Respected Because: I love the fact that Warren Buffett is one of the world’s richest men and yet he lives his life as an example of “The Millionaire Next Door”. He’s a man of great wealth but doesn’t flaunt it and leads a relatively simple and down to earth lifestyle. I’m sure he could afford several mansions in Beverly Hills but chooses to live in the MidWest and as a philanthropist, he also seems to be generous with his time and sharing his knowledge with others.
Rich and Respected Because: A lot of celebrities today give a million dollars here, a few thousand dollars there and think they have served humanity well. Paul Newman, on the other hand, established an organic line of food products and an organization to oversee donation of all the after-tax profits to charity ($265m to date!). To quote Newman’s own website, his company’s motto is “Shameless exploitation in pursuit of the Common Good”. Now, who would ever expect a silver screen God to be so humane and generous!