Would you want to be remembered most for the money you made or the money you gave away? These 12 "Titans of Philanthropy," who grace the cover of Forbes magazine for its 30th annual Forbes 400 issue, which ranks the richest people in the world, have clearly chosen the latter path.
The portrait, taken by Forbes contributing photographer Michael Prince in the Trustees Room of the New York Public Library, captures a dozen people who represent a breathtaking amount of wealth -- and good will -- all in one room: not less than $126 billion in net worth for this esteemed bunch of philanthropists, including Oprah Winfrey, who stands over Warren Buffett and Bill Gates like a ministering angel. Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen sits on the lap of her husband, Marc Andreessen, and rocker philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi lounges on the rug.
The occasion of the photo was the first-ever Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy on June 26, a gathering of 161 billionaires and near billionaires who, when they're not making pots of money, work on solving the world's most intractable problems. But even among such a rarefied group, these 12 stood, as Randall Lane of Forbes put it, "a notch above."
The behind-the-scenes video of the cover shoot of this exclusive club explains more of how this group was selected. Says Lane, "These are all people who have given serious money, serious time to philanthropy, almost always, both."
The charitable giving is as eye-popping as the wealth: Bill and Melinda Gates with their globally influential foundation; Buffett, who has given away 99 percent of his money; Winfrey ("You get a car!"), who has given her time and money, and, let's face it, her Oprah magic; Arrillaga-Andreessen and Andreessen, who have said they are donating half their profits as they make them, a new paradigm. And Bon Jovi, who Forbes ranked as the top celebrity philanthropist. Who knew?
More from Forbes:
Explore an interactive version of the photo
Forbes 400 Summit On Philanthropy
See the billionaires who have signed the Giving Pledge
- Volunteering & Philanthropy
- Forbes magazine
- Marc Andreessen
- Oprah Winfrey
- Warren Buffett