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Ovation: George Lucas Gives Away Billions.

11/02/2012

When Star Wars was released in 1977, it was a global phenomenon.  The movie displayed special effects and sounds that the movie going public had never seen or experienced.  People waited in lines that had never been seen by theaters before.  George Lucas became the king of Hollywood and went on to produce many more films in the still popular series.

Lucas became a very rich man.

This week he became even richer when he sold his companies including LucasFilm, LucasArts and Industrial Light and Magic to the Walt Disney Corporation for $4.05 billion.  The deal should be finalized by the end of the year and, since Lucas owns 100 percent of the company, all the money goes to him.  But, being a notorious philanthropist rumor has it that he plans to quickly put the bulk of the proceeds into a foundation which will focus primarily on education issues.

It’s not clear if the money will go to the George Lucas Education Foundation, where Lucas is the chairman of its Edutopia subsidiary, or if a new foundation will be created and funded by the sale.

“For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company.  As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy.” – George Lucas, October 2012

This week’s announcement continues a commitment that Lucas made in 2010 to The Giving Pledge where he stated, …

“I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education.  It is the key to the survival of the human race.  We have to plan for our collective future—and the first step begins with social, emotional, and intellectual tools we provide to our children.  As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt—as educators, storytellers, and communicators our responsibility is to continue to do so.’”

I find it refreshing to hear stories about fortunate and wealthy people who give their money away.  The idea of “billions of dollars” is incomprehensible to most of us and it’s difficult to understand the impact that a sum of money that large can have on our world.

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8 Comments
  1. Well, the cynic in me says, when you’re worth billions, is giving away another billion really a big deal, or is it pocket change?

    That said, Bravo George Lucas because not all billionaires are so giving with their donations.

    Like

  2. Having worked for the Mouse House I can’t say I’m thrilled they’ve added to their empire…

    I can say cudos to George for the wonderful donation. He’s also supported affordable housing too.

    Like

  3. Good on him. It’s his money. He earned it honestly. He didn’t have to give away a penny. Good on him for the grand philanthropic gestures..

    May the force be with him.

    Like

  4. Since the force was with Superstorm Sandy this last week, maybe he could force some of his charitable donations over the east coast way?

    Like

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