Lead singer of the Dublin-based band, U2, Bono is one of the best-known celebrity advocates. He is the cofounder of the organization ONE, a campaign of over three million people who are taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. He is also creator of other campaigns including DATA, (RED) and EDUN. Bono recently performed at the 2013 Global Citizen Festival, and called on audience members to help put a stop to extreme poverty by 2030. He was granted knighthood in 2007 and dubbed a “Man of Peace” for all his philanthropic work. He also serves as a role model to all celebrities who are passionate about a greater cause.
2. Angelina Jolie
While filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia, Jolie became aware of a worldwide humanitarian crisis. Since 2001, she has traveled on field missions around the world, interacting with refugees and other displaced people in more than 20 countries. She and Brad Pitt also founded the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, an organization dedicated to eradicating extreme rural poverty, conserving wildlife and protecting natural resources. Among the many other philanthropic endeavors, Jolie has supported the building of an all-girls primary school in Afghanistan, the opening a refugee camp and, recently, after her own double mastectomy, cancer awareness.
3. Elton John
Musician Sir Elton John has seen many of his close friends die from HIV/AIDS. In their honor, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992 to fight the disease worldwide. The organization has raised over $125 million to support programs in 55 countries through education, health services and the elimination of prejudice and discrimination. In 2004, he donated over $43 million to organizations across the globe – the single greatest charitable contribution made by any musician that year. In 2008, he donated 120 motorcycles to the African nation of Lesotho to be used by doctors and nurses to visit patients in remote areas.
4. George Clooney
Clooney is one of the most charitable stars in Hollywood, focusing his energy on ending the human rights atrocities occurring in Darfur. He famously founded the group Not On Our Watch to stop the current genocide, and has visited the area personally several times, meeting with victims and world leaders alike.
5. Bill Clinton
Former president and founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, Clinton promotes aid for a number of humanitarian causes. His organization focuses specifically on climate change, economic development, global health and women’s rights. Though there has been some controversy over the Clinton Foundation in recent years, it remains a well-known global advocacy network for poverty-stricken countries.
– Sonia Aviv