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Hilton is the U.S.' top giver

June 24, 2008|Mike Boehm

William Barron Hilton, the 80-year-old grandfather of Paris Hilton, made a $1.2-billion charitable pledge last year, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported Monday, putting him at the head of its annual list of America's top 50 charitable donors.

The co-chair of Beverly Hills-based Hilton Hotels Corp. will do his giving through the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, named for his father and dedicated to combating blindness, funding water projects in developing countries, housing America's homeless and reducing drug abuse among the young.

Other Angelenos in the philanthropic Top 10 were financier Robert Day, ninth-ranked after pledging $200 million to start a new master's degree program in economics at Claremont McKenna College, and Eli and Edythe Broad, who placed 10th by giving $176 million through their Broad Foundations, including $26 million for an art museum at Michigan State University.

Overall, American arts and cultural institutions reaped $13.7 billion in donations in 2007, up 7.8% over a year earlier, according to figures compiled by the Illinois-based Giving USA Foundation.

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-- Mike Boehm

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