Oprah Winfrey tops list of most generous stars

Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:18pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - She's been named as the highest-paid TV celebrity and one of the world's most powerful women, but American talk-show host Oprah Winfrey is also a big giver, topping a list of the 30 most generous celebrities for the second year running.

The second annual list, compiled by The Giving Back Fund, a group that seeks to encourage philanthropy, put Oprah in the top slot with The Oprah Winfrey Foundation and Oprah's Angel Network spending $50.2 million in 2007 on education, health care, and advocacy for women and children worldwide.

Winfrey is a former Bob Hope Humanitarian Award winner, but her girls' academy in South Africa made headlines last year after a former dormitory matron was charged with abusing students.

Second place on the list, published in the latest edition of Parade magazine, went to trumpeter and A&M records co-founder Herb Alpert with The Herb Alpert Foundation spending $13 million on education, including the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Singer-actress Barbra Streisand came third in the list that was based on public records of donations made in 2007, with $11 million donated by The Streisand Foundation to the environment, women's issues, civil rights, AIDS research, and advocacy.

Fourth place went to Paul Newman who gave $10 million to the Scholarship for Kenyon College, his alma mater in Gambier, Ohio, while Mel Gibson was in the fifth slot, giving $9.9 million to the Holy Family Church in Malibu, California.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy)

<p>Television presenter Oprah Winfrey arrives for the birthday dinner party of former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela at Hyde Park in London June 25, 2008. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez</p>