December 27, 2007 / 12:24 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX-Angelina Jolie tops poll of best celebrity do-gooder

6 Min Read


Dec 27 (Reuters Life!) - Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie tops a Reuters poll released on Thursday of the best celebrity humanitarians of 2007.

The poll by humanitarian Web site Reuters AlertNet (www.alertnet.org), which surveyed 606 people from Dec. 7 to 19, also found fellow adoptive mother Madonna was the least respected celebrity altruist of 2007.

Here are some details of the winners -- and losers:

Q: Who gave the best name to "celebrity humanitarianism" in 2007?

1. Angelina Jolie

The actress has visited more than 20 humanitarian hot spots including Iraq and Darfur since becoming a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. refugee agency in 2001. On a trip to Iraq in August, she appealed for international aid to help millions of displaced Iraqis. Jolie has three adopted children -- from Ethiopia, Cambodia and Vietnam.

2. Bono

The U2 singer and "Red" campaigner has been a tireless voice in the fight against HIV/AIDS, extreme poverty and crippling debt.

3. Desmond Tutu

The apartheid opponent and Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been a constant advocate of conflict resolution and reconciliation. This year he won India's Gandhi Peace Prize and has been a vocal critic of the South African government's response to HIV/AIDS. He is leader of "The Elders", a humanitarian council made up of elder statesmen.

4. Bill Gates

The Microsoft founder and world's second-richest man has poured money into the fight against infectious diseases such as AIDS and malaria. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $3.5 billion since 2003, according to BusinessWeek.

5. Bill Clinton

The former U.S. president's foundation tackles causes from HIV/AIDS to ethnic conflict. He holds an annual philanthropic summit that this year generated pledges to combat health, poverty, education and climate woes that he said could help 100 million people. His new book is titled "GIVING: How Each of Us Can Change the World".

6. Jimmy Carter

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former U.S. president is a crusader for conflict resolution and diplomacy. His Carter Center works to prevent wars and eradicate diseases. This year he toured Sudan's Darfur region with "The Elders" humanitarian council.

7. Kofi Annan

The former United Nations secretary-general is also a member of the "Elders" humanitarian council and founder of the Global Humanitarian Forum dedicated to strengthening the international community's ability to tackle the big crises of our time and mega-disasters like the Asian tsunami.

8. Mia Farrow

A committed Darfur activist, Farrow has led a global movement to press China to help end abuses by ally Sudan. This year she started an Olympic-style torch relay through countries that have suffered genocide and offered up her own freedom in exchange for a respected Darfur rebel figure.

9. Don Cheadle

The actor has embraced humanitarian causes since his Oscar-nominated role in 2004's "Hotel Rwanda", becoming a passionate spokesman against atrocities in Darfur. He co-wrote "Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond".

10. Brad Pitt

Like his partner, Angelina Jolie, the Hollywood hunk is a respected Darfur advocate. He has also launched a housing project in New Orleans.

Q: Who gave celebrity humanitarianism the worst name?

1. Madonna

Despite controversy surrounding her adoption of a Malawian "orphan" last year, Madonna has been lauded by Malawi's government for putting the plight of AIDS orphans on the global stage and raising money to help them.

2. Paris Hilton

After spending 45 days in jail this year for violating probation on a traffic offense, Hilton announced she planned to swap partying for philanthropy with a trip to Rwanda. The trip was later postponed.

3. Oprah Winfrey

America's highest-paid TV celebrity has used her Oprah's Angel Network charity to support vulnerable people worldwide and AIDS-affected children in Africa. The former Bob Hope Humanitarian Award winner is ranked 35th in BusinessWeek's ranking of most generous philanthropists. But her girls' academy in South Africa made headlines this year when a former dormitory matron was charged with abusing students.

4. Bono

See above

5. Bob Geldof

The LiveAid legend and former Boomtown Rats singer has kept up the pressure on aid, trade and debt issues. His TV company is launching a broadband channel aimed at promoting world peace.

Source: Reuters AlertNet (www.alertnet.org) (Reporting by Tim Large; Editing by Belinda Goldsmith and Eric Walsh)






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