The only Googler to have helped wipe out an infectious disease, Brilliant, 63, came early to both philanthropy and the Internet. He co-founded the WELL, a prototypic online community, in 1985. He co-founded and chaired the Seva Foundation, which helped restore sight to more than 2 million people. And he was one of the leaders of the World Health Organization's successful push to eradicate smallpox. Today he spends his days running Google.org, the search giant's philanthropic arm. But don't let the "dot org" fool you. Brilliant, who oversees the approximately $2 billion that Google has committed to charity, runs the organization as a for-profit, investing in early detection and response systems for epidemics, renewable energy and entrepreneurial approaches to helping the poor.
Last updated January 22 2008: 8:01 AM ET