Utah couple and investment whiz lead in donating money $5 million is minimum to make the Slate list

December 26, 1996|By LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON -- The glitziest and wealthiest Americans are not necessarily the most generous. Those would be the ones the public hardly hears about, until now.

Slate magazine, Microsoft's venture into online publishing, has listed the names of America's most generous.

The scale of their philanthropy is breathtaking: a $5 million gift was the minimum to qualify.

The Slate list has some acknowledged flaws. It only counts contributions that are announced publicly; anonymous philanthropy -- the noblest kind -- isn't ranked.

And it only counts donations made during the current year, so cumulative generosity doesn't figure.

Here are the top 10 givers nationwide:

Samuel and Aline Skaggs: $100 million to San Diego's Scripps Research Institute from a Utah grocery magnate and his wife.

George Soros: "Nearly $100 million," including $50 million to create the Emma Lazarus Fund to help legal immigrants become U.S. citizens and at least $35 million to charitable projects in Russia, from a Hungarian-born investment wizard.

Klaus G. and Amelia Perls: $60 million-plus worth of 20th-century art to New York's Metropolitan Museum.

Robert W. Galvin: $60 million pledged to the Illinois Institute of Technology from the chairman of Motorola Inc.

The Robert A. and Jay A. Pritzker Families: $60 million pledged to the Illinois Institute of Technology from a family of successful Chicagoans.

The Gonda Family: $45 million to the University of California at Los Angeles to create a neuroscience and genetics research center, from a Southern California family.

Richard Fisher, Leon Levy and Susan Soros: $42 million to New York's Bard College from three of the school's trustees -- two investment bankers and the wife of George Soros, the No. 2 donor on the list.

The Ted Arison Family: $40 million worth of Carnival Corp. stock to Miami's New World Symphony, from the founders of the cruise line.

Robert M. and Anne Bass: $30 million, including $20 million to Yale University and $10 million to Duke University, from one branch of a Texas oil family.

Bill Gates: $27 million, $15 million to Harvard and $12 million to the University of Washington, from the chairman of Microsoft.

Pub Date: 12/26/96

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