A gift of Walmart shares worth $1.2 billion from Jim C. Walton — the youngest son of Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton — to the Walton Family Foundation tops the Chronicle of Philanthropy's list of the ten largest gifts from U.S. philanthropists or their foundations in 2019.
Ranked second was a $1 billion pledge by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, to the Schmidt Family Foundation and other Schmidt giving vehicles in support of efforts to identify, develop, and support the next generation of nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs. The third spot was claimed by hedge fund mogul and philanthropist George Soros, whose pledge of $830 million through the Open Society Foundations will support embattled Central European University, an institution he founded in 1991 in Budapest, Hungary. Ranked fourth and fifth were gifts of $750 million from Stewart and Lynda Resnick to the California Institute of Technology and a $350 million pledge from T. Denny Sanford to the National University System.
The sixth spot on the list was shared by gifts of LORD Corporation stock worth $261 million each from the estate of Thomas Lord to the Cleveland Clinic, Duke University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Southern California. And rounding out the list were a $200 million gift from Ernest and Evelyn Rady to Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego; a $200 million gift from Phillip Terrence Ragon and Susan Ragon to Massachusetts General Hospital; a $188 million gift from Blackstone co-founder, chair, and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman to the University of Oxford; a $160 million pledge from Michael R. Bloomberg through Bloomberg Philanthropies in support of efforts to address the widespread use of e-cigarettes among American youth; a $150 million gift from the family of the late Jon M. Huntsman, Sr. to the University of Utah; and a $150 million pledge from Gateway co-founder Ted Waitt's Waitt Foundation in support of ocean conservation efforts.