Philanthropists are the individuals who strive to contribute to the well-being of humankind through their efforts, time and money. They are actively involved in promoting human welfare, and usually strive to achieve this by making generous donation of money to worthy causes. Philanthropy is often associated with the wealthy as they have more resources to donate, but not everyone who is wealthy is engaged in philanthropy! One of the best known philanthropists of our time is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates who along with his wife Melinda is a co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Equally well known for his philanthropy is American industrialist and investor Warren Buffet who has pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes. Li Ka-shing and George Soros are also noted philanthropists. Several of the modern day philanthropists cite the Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie as their inspiration—Carnegie gave away almost 90 percent of his fortune to charities, foundations, and universities. He is also credited to have urged the other wealthy people to use their fortunes to help improve society. Read on to discover about the life and works of various famous philanthropists from all over the world.

List of famous philanthropists with their biographies that include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.