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Paul Allen was most charitable living American in 2011

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is a giver, in fact, he was the most giving living person in the US last year. (AP Photo/file)

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is a giver, in fact, he was the most charitable living person in the U.S. last year.

Allen’s donations totaling $372.6 million were beat out by only two others, but both of them are dead.

The most generous was Cargill Heiress Anne Cargill. She died in 2006, but her $6 billion fortune couldn’t be given to charity until 2011.

In second place, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, was William Dietrich II. The metal manufacturer died last October, but left behind $500 million to establish a foundation in his name.

Allen reportedly put $372.6 million into the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle’s Experience Music Project, and other charitable ventures.

Two people are conspicuously absent from the top 50 list this year: Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. That’s because the Chronicle doesn’t include payments on gifts promised in past years in its spreadsheet of top givers. Both Gates and Buffett made large payments on past pledges in 2011.

It took gifts totaling at least $26 million to make the list this year. People on the list gave a median of $61 million in 2011, compared to $39.6 million in 2010.
Twenty-nine of the top 50 gave $50 million or more.

Nineteen made big gifts to colleges, including 10 multi-million dollar gifts to universities that were not the donors’ alma maters.

Ten of the top 50 made the list because of bequests after their death. The Chronicle notes that 379 of the Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans did not report making any big charitable gifts.

The Chronicle creates its annual list by asking the nation’s wealthiest people and America’s biggest non-profits to report on charitable giving.

Not all donors disclose their giving publicly and the list does not include gifts from anonymous donors. The Chronicle reported 76 anonymous gifts of $1 million or more in 2011, which totaled $546 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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