Actress, Philanthropist, Activist
Angelina Jolie is famous for many reasons – she is a talented film actress and director, and is considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. She is also one of the best-paid actresses, making over $20 million dollars per film, and she is a committed humanitarian and philanthropist.
When she was filming in Cambodia in 2001 for one of her most famous roles (Lara Croft, Tomb Raider), she saw firsthand how people who live in countries torn apart by war suffer.
Disturbed, she did some research, contacting the United Nations to find out which countries were struggling the most as a result of the war.
She then went on a world tour of war-torn countries, which inspired her to give $1 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the largest donation they had ever received. She became a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR and for the next ten years, she visited and used her fame to raise awareness about war zones and refugees in over 30 different countries. She even got her pilot’s license so that she could help fly food, supplies, and aid workers into war-torn regions.
Jolie didn’t just visit these countries she adopted a son from Cambodia and purchased a house there so that she could live in Cambodia part-time to help her adopted son feel connected to his birth country. She purchased 150,000 acres of land near her house in Cambodia and turned it into a wildlife preserve, named after her son. She also adopted two daughters from Africa and funded similar wildlife conservation projects there. And, she adopted a son from Vietnam. She has also given money to organizations in the United States that help immigrant children from war-torn countries move here.
Jolie has figured out some clever ways to raise money for her favorite charities: She started her own line of jewelry to raise money to provide education for kids in war-torn countries. She has built more than ten schools in Cambodia alone. She also sold the first pictures of her daughter, Shiloh, to the media and gave the almost $8 million dollars she received to UNICEF. Photos of her twins, born in 2008, were sold for $14 million dollars, which was donated to a charitable foundation that she set up with her husband, Brad Pitt.