Jamsetji Tata World’s Biggest Philanthropist Of Last Century, Azim Premji Ranks 12

Images of Jamsetji Tata, founder of Tata Group, and Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata. (Photographer: Ruhani Kaur/Bloomberg)

Jamsetji Tata World’s Biggest Philanthropist Of Last Century, Azim Premji Ranks 12

Jamsetji Tata, the late founder of the Tata Group, has been named the world’s most generous individual of the last century, bettering Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett.

Tata made total donations worth $102.4 billion, mainly for education and healthcare, according to EdelGive Hurun’s list of the world’s top 50 philanthropists of the century.

“The total philanthropic value of Tata is made up of 66% of Tata Sons,” EdelGive Hurun said in a media statement. “He set up the JN Tata Endowment in 1892 for higher education, which was the beginning of Tata Trusts.”

The list featured another Indian: Azim Premji. The founder-chairman of Wipro Ltd. ranks 12 with donations worth $22 billion.

He was the first Indian to sign the ‘Giving Pledge’—a 2010 initiative by Bill & Melinda Gates and Buffett to make the world’s wealthiest individuals and families commit a majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Since then, Premji has transferred 67% of Wipro’s economic ownership to the Azim Premji Endowment Fund.

Jamsetji Tata World’s Biggest Philanthropist Of Last Century, Azim Premji Ranks 12

Besides the two Indians, the list featured 39 generous individuals from the U.S., five from the U.K., three from China and one each from Portugal and Switzerland. The cumulative donation by the top 50 philanthropists amounted to $832 billion—$503 billion is in foundations as of today and $329 billion was disbursed in the last century.

The total philanthropic value, according to the statement, has been calculated as the value of the assets today together with the sum of gifts or distributions to date.

The Hurun report also recognised donations made by philanthropists and private foundations toward Covid-19. Tata Trusts led by Ratan Tata donated $270 million, while Premji donated $135 million.

The Rockefeller Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and George Soros of Open Society Foundation, among others, too, made donations to counter the unprecedented health and economic crisis.

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