The internet is full of articles talking about the net worth of celebrities and famous individuals. This time around we are focusing on self-made millionaires and billionaires who decided to donate their fortunes to charity rather than leave it to their children. This may seem harsh to you, but to these wealthy men and women, it is crucial as they feel that handing down their wealth will hurt their children. There is something to their logic, since self-sufficiency, independence and value all come from knowing how to do things yourself rather than being given everything your whole life.
Sting, one of the most famous musicians of our time, has decided that he was not going to leave his money to his six children when he is no longer with us. He has said, “I certainly don’t want to leave them trust funds that are albatrosses round their necks, they have to work. All my kids know that and they rarely ask me for anything, which I really respect and appreciate.” Sting is far from leaving this world (we hope) and is currently worth $300 million. His fortune is said to grow each year as he is still very active in the music industry. We can only assume that since he isn’t giving his children his money, that he will then donate the funds to various charities.
George Lucas, the creator of the epic Star Wars franchise, is yet another billionaire who is not planning on leaving his children his fortune. Lucas is currently worth $5.1 billion. His four children are set to inherit a very small percentage of his billion dollar estate. Lucas has his eyes set on the education in the United States and how to improve the current outlook. “As long as I have the resources at my disposal, I will seek to raise the bar for future generations of students of all ages.”
Nigella Lawson, celebrity chef, and journalist has had her fair share of scandals in the spotlight. This time we are writing about her in a more positive light. She is planning on donating her $15 million net worth and not give it to her two children. “I am determined that my children should have no financial security, it ruins people not having to earn money.” Nigella was previously married to Charles Saatchi, the English businessman.
Chinese martial artist and actor Jackie Chan is beloved among his peers in Hollywood and his audiences across the globe. He earned his $350 million fortune from his various films as well as his production credits. Chan has who children with wife Joan Lin but plans to give his money to charity and not his children. Of his son, Chan said, “he can make his own money.” His fortune will likely go to the Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation which mainly focused on disaster relief and the promotion of education.
Canadian businessman and co-founder of O’Leary Funds, is a $400 million business machine. He is known for his time on Shark Tank, an ABC network series. Kevin stated in an interview that he is not leaving his money to his children. “If you don’t start out your life with the fear of not being able to feed yourself and your family, then what motivates you to go get a job? Fear motivated me, and it will motivate them.”
Simon Cowell, known as the mean judge on American Idol and now on The X Factor UK, is worth around $500 million. He has never been married but does have one son, Eric, with his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Silverman. Sadly for his son, he is not going to be inheriting his fathers millions. Cowell doesn’t believe in passing on ones wealth, instead, he is going to donate his fortune to charities that benefit animals and children.
With a $2.3 billion net worth, Ted Turner’s children would sure think that they would be sitting pretty for the rest of their lives. While they may be comfortable, it sure isn’t from dear old dad. Turner’s five children are not getting much of Turner’s fortune as there won’t be much left. Turner created two foundations – a family foundation and the United Nations Foundation – which he has already pledged $1 billion of his fortune in 1997. Turner himself said, “at the time of my death, virtually all my wealth will have gone to charity.”
Pierre is the founder of eBay. As such he is worth $8.1 billion. While Pierre doesn’t have children yet, he doesn’t plan on leaving them much when he does have them. Omidyar said, “We have more money than our family will ever need, there’s no need to hold onto it when it can be put to use today, to help solve some of the world’s most intractable problems.” Together with his wife, Pamela, they created the Humanity United Foundation that supports organizations dealing with anti-slavery.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is worth $47.5 billion. He made his fortune through owning his own business, a financial information company, Bloomberg L.P. Bloomberg has two daughters, but decided that he would donate his fortune to charity upon his death. He said, “If you want to do something for your children and show how much you love them, the single best thing—by far—is to support organizations that will create a better world for them and their children.”
Business magnate Warren Buffett is te second wealthiest man in the United States and one of the richest in the world. He is currently valued at a net worth of $78.7 billion. Buffett’s business acumen has had him referred to as an oracle for all business models. Throughout his long career, he has been a noted philanthropist, so much so that he pledged to donate 99% of his massive fortune to charity. He would leave his children “enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.”
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has long stated that he is donating his fortune when he passes away. Bill and his wife have their own foundation called The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is where his incredible $78.6 billion fortune will end up going. Gates does not believe in leaving large sums of money to his children as he thinks it would be a disservice to them. Gates has encouraged other individuals of means to donate their net worth as well.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, famous for being the brain behind The Phantom of the Opera, is worth $770 million today. Webber has five children from three marriages, none of whom are getting his astounding fortune. He said, “they aren’t bothered. They don’t think that way. It is about having a work ethic—I don’t believe in inherited money at all. I am not in favor of children suddenly finding a lot of money coming their way, because then they have no incentive to work.”
Gene Simmons, co-lead singer of the legendary band Kiss, is said to be worth around $300 million. He stated that his kids aren’t getting all of his money, in fact, “What I wanna do is what every bird does in its nest—it forces the kids to go out there and figure it out for themselves. In terms of an inheritance and stuff, they’re gonna be taken care of, but they will never be rich off my money. Because every year they should be forced to get up out of bed and go out and work and make their own way.”
Gina Rinehart is the chairman of Hancock Prospecting, a privately owned mineral and drilling company that was created by her father, Lang Hancock. It was thanks to her father that she inherited 76.6% of the company. Gina is doing something that her father, obviously, didn’t do – she is not giving her four children her money. Gina is the richest woman in Australia, valued at $6.06 billion. Gina cut her children out of her will as she doesn’t think they are the right people to lead the company and handle that kind of responsibility and wealth.
Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus is worth $3.5 billion. He was the Home Depot’s first Chief Executive Officer and served as the Chairman of the Board until he decided to retire back in 2002. Marcus has two children from two wives. Marcus announced that he plans to give most of his money to charity and leave a small amount for his children, for their own wellbeing. The charity that his Home Depot shares are going to is The Marcus Foundation, which benefits education for the physically challenged.
Chuck Feeney is a mega-philanthropist. He is the co-founder of the Duty-Free Shoppers Groups. He now worth $ 2 million. If that sounds like a tiny amount to you it is because it is. Feeney donated his real fortune, all $8 BILLION of it to charity. He left himself the $2 million to live on until he passes. His four children are not getting any of his fortune. Feeney is famous for being a frugal wealthy man, who doesn’t drive a car and lives in a rented apartment rather than owning his own home.
John Douglas is only 43 years old but he is already a retired man. When he was working he was a hedge fund manager whose specialization was in natural gas trading. He was VERY good at his job, to say the least. Today, Arnold is worth $2.9 billion. He was the head of his own firm and in 2012 decided he had enough. John and his wife have agreed that their massive estate will go to their foundation and NOT their three children, stating that they don’t believe in handing down wealth.
T. Boone Pickens
Much like many of the individuals on this list, T. Boone Pickens doesn’t believe in handing down his money. The financier and business magnate who chaired the BP Capital Management hedge fund is now worth $500 million. Pickens has been married five times and has five children from his respective marriages. He is not giving his children his money when he passes, opting instead to donate the money, he has already pledged half his wealth.
Yu Pang-Lin was a Chinese real estate and hotel magnate who was worth billions at the time of his passing in 2015. Pang-Lin is survived by his two sons. Prior to his passing, Yu said “If my children are more capable than me, it’s not necessary to leave a lot of money to them. If they are incompetent, a lot of money will only be harmful to them.” This was made even more evident when he announced that he donated his remaining liquid fortune of $470 million to his charity foundation. Yu was China’s lead philanthropist who focused his foundation’s money on health care.
Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest individual on this list and he is also one of the youngest self-made billionaires in the world. Today Mark is worth $59.4 billion and has publically stated that he is leaving none of it to his new daughter. In fact, he said that he is donating 99% of his Facebook shares to the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. At this time he is earning $1 a year as the CEO of Facebook at his own request.