Do you believe the megarich have an obligation to give to charity? Or are you thinking, “it’s their money, let ’em spend how they want!”
Whichever camp you fall in, you’ll enjoy this list of 5 insanely rich people who have used ethics, morality, or life’s struggles to justify their decision to deny their children access to their fortunes in favor of the greater good.
Microsoft Founder & CEO Bill Gates
Bill Gates has claimed, “It’s not a favor to kids to have them have huge sums of wealth… it distorts anything they might do.” So, it’s no surprise Gates and wife Melinda partnered with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett to create The Giving Pledge, which encourages the wealthy to donate their fortunes and build a “tradition of philanthropy that will ultimately help the world become a much better place.”
Rockstar Gene Simmons
“If you wanna be a singer, or play guitar, man, you gotta sweat or you won’t get far.” This moral of hard work and dedication heard in KISS’s music extends beyond the frontman’s onstage persona. Simmons told CNBC, “…in terms of inheritance and stuff, they’re gonna be taken care of, but they will never be rich off my money. Every year they should be forced to work and make their own way.”
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg is an active Giving Pledge member, but she also has two other causes to which she donates much of her earnings. LeanIn.org, named for her famous book, empowers women to achieve their ambitions. And after her husband’s sudden death while on vacation in 2015, Sandberg started OptionB.org, which helps people build resilience and find meaning in the face of adversity. Bravo, Sheryl. Bravo.
Actor & Martial Artist Jackie Chan
Although he’s one of the most globally recognized movie stars of his time, he doesn’t want his fame and fortune to spoil his son, Jaycee. Chan told ChannelNews Asia, “If he is capable, he can make his own money. If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money.” Makes sense to us!
Musical Theater King Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber is a legendary composer and musical theater genius (ahem, Phantom of the Opera), but his wealth won’t be corrupting his five kids. Webber told the UK’s Mirror, “It’s about having a work ethic. I don’t believe in inherited money at all.” Instead, the majority of his estate will go towards funding the arts.