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Soros tops donor list – His giving totals $2.65B

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George Soros, with $2.65 billion in lifetime contributions, tops Worth Magazine’s “Benefactor 100” list of U.S. donors who have given the most to charity.

Lifetime giving by Walter H. Annenberg totals $1.39 billion, ranking him second on the list, which will be published in the magazine’s April edition.

Annenberg is followed by William R. Hewlett, who has given more than $921 million.

Bill and Melinda Gates, who rank fourth with $846 million in gifts, have climbed 11 spots from last year, thanks to $650 million in gifts in 1999.

If the Gateses maintain their current pace of giving, they soon will displace Soros at the top of the list.

Familiar benefactors on the list include Ted Turner – who ranked 10th with gifts totaling $308 million; Paul Newman, 51st; and Steven Spielberg, 80th.

The roster counts only charitable funds that have been put to work. So new software moguls whose highly publicized pledges have not yet been fulfilled or whose funds have not been distributed are not included.

To be included on the “Benefactor 100” list this year, a donor must have given away at least $45 million as of December 31, 1999.  The roster can be found online at the magazine’s Web site.

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