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Philanthropy list celebrates charitable families

Four business-owning family members have been named in the top 20 American philanthropists in a new poll which provides an annual analysis of the largest charitable contributions.

Barron Hilton, 80, chairman of the Hilton Hotel Corporation, came second in the list – The 2007 Slate 60 – with a $1.2 billion donation to his father’s trust, The Conrad N Hilton Foundation, which donates money to help the world’s most disadvantaged people. The contribution came from proceeds from the sale of Hilton Hotels Corporation and the pending sale of Harrah’s Entertainment.

Jon Huntsman (pictured), 70, who sold his family-owned chemical firm in July last year, and his wife Karen donated the third largest amount with $627 million for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation at Utah State University. The Huntsman name has been linked with charity for many years as the foundation has given millions towards education and health research. This particular donation was to begin an awareness campaign about the DNA-based virus HPV and provide low-cost vaccines.

David Koch, 67, who co-owns oil giant Koch industries with his brother, Charles, gave $123 million to various groups including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Texas MD and the Anderson Cancer Centre. The money went towards building a new cancer research centre that will bring together scientists and engineers under one roof to develop new and powerful ways to detect, diagnose, treat, and manage cancer.

Landmark Communications owner Frank Batten Sr, 80, gave $100 million to the University of Virginia in order to establish a school of leadership and public policy. The media firm announced in January that it was putting itself up for sale after being family-owned since its founding in 1905. (Click here to read the story in full.)

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