The Carnegie Corporation of New York has announced the 2009 winners of the Andrew Carnegie Medals of Philanthropy, which are awarded every two years to families and individuals around the world who, like Andrew Carnegie, have dedicated their private wealth to the public good. This year's winners are New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; Intel co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife, Betty; former Citigroup chair and CEO Sanford Weill and his wife, Joan; and the Ko� family of Turkey.
The 2009 medalists have helped establish and support nonprofit organizations in the United States and abroad that span the fields of medicine, education, culture, and science. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Bloomberg was the leading individual donor in the United States in 2008, giving some $235 million to nonprofit and charitable organizations and causes while continuing a decade-old pattern of steadily increasing his charitable contributions. Known for funding established institutions as well as taking risks on less proven programs and smaller organizations, he has brought resources and attention to causes that are both specific and solvable, including campaigns to reduce tobacco use, improve global road safety, and remove illegal guns from the streets of the nation's cities.
The Moores established the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which focuses its grantmaking activities on environmental conservation, science, and the San Francisco Bay Area, in September 2000. In addition to its initiative-based grantmaking, the foundation provides significant funding to organizations and projects such as Conservation International, the California Institute of Technology, the Thirty-Meter Telescope, and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.
The philanthropy of Joan and Sanford I. Weill spans more than half a century. Over that period, the Weills' giving, according to BusinessWeek, has totaled more than $800 million. Major beneficiaries of the Weill's philanthropy have included New York's Carnegie Hall and Cornell's Medical College and Graduate School of Medical Sciences, as well as Cornell's Weill Bugando Medical Center in Tanzania.
The Ko� family has contributed to the growth of modern Turkey while maintaining a keen sense of obligation to the country, its people, and its cultural heritage. Much of the family's philanthropy is carried out through the Vehbi Ko� Foundation, the first private foundation in Turkey and today one of Europe's largest. Among other things, the family's philanthropy has sought to improve the quality of Turkey's healthcare system, improve the country's education system, and promote Turkey's varied cultural resources. The family also has carried out numerous environmental projects through its companies and its support of several nongovernmental organizations.
"The 2009 medalists represent a diverse cross-section of philanthropic commitments and geographic locations. Yet, they have a common philosophy of giving," said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York and chair of the Carnegie Medals selection committee. "By celebrating the philanthropic work of these individuals and families, we, the members of the Carnegie family of institutions, seek to highlight the importance of philanthropy in our modern societies."