The face of philanthropy

The world of giving is filled with well-meaning and talented individuals from every background. These influential altruists are making their mark on philanthropy.

The star
Photographed at Industria Superstudio, New York City
The star
Michael J. Fox, the Michael J. Fox Foundation
Fox shocked his fans in 1998 when he went public with his diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. Two years later, after surveying what research was - and wasn't -underway, he started an organization to aggressively seek new treatments to combat the degenerative disorder. He teamed with Deborah Brooks, a former Goldman Sachs VP, and rallied Wall Street heavyweights like David Einhorn and John Griffin to join his cause.

To date, the organization has spent more than $100 million on research as it tries to shake up the way scientific funding works and eliminate much of the bureaucracy that can bog down government-led studies. Rather than give grants and move on, Fox's team interacts with researchers, staying involved to help promote accountability and faster results.

Last updated January 11 2008: 5:15 PM ET

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