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Not Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, this Indian is top philanthropist of the last century

Jamsetji Tata is the only Indian in the top 10 list, followed by Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, Henry Wellcome, Howard Hughes, and Warren Buffett

Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata. (Photo: tata.com) Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata. (Photo: tata.com)

Tata Group founder Jamsetji Tata has topped the EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century. Emerging as the biggest philanthropist globally over the last 100 years, Jamsetji Tata donated $102 billion, according to a list of top-50 readied by Hurun Report and EdelGive Foundation.

The report pegs the current value of total donations, mainly made to boost education and healthcare, at $102.4 billion.

Jamsetji Tata is the only Indian in the top 10 list, followed by Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates, Henry Wellcome, Howard Hughes, and Warren Buffett.

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Meanwhile, the only other Indian among the top 50 is Wipro chairman Azim Premji, who is ranked 12th in the list and has virtually given his entire fortune of $22 billion for philanthropic causes.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' ex-wife Mackenzie Scott donated $8.5 billion directly to charities, most ever in a year by a living donor.

Tata, the founder of what has now become a group spanning interests from salt to software, is ahead of others like Bill Gates and his now estranged wife Melinda who have donated $74.6 billion, Warren Buffet ($ 37.4 billion), George Soros ($34.8 billion) and John D Rockefeller ($26.8 billion), the list showed.

"Whilst American and European philanthropists may have dominated the thinking of philanthropy over the last century, Jamsetji Tata, founder of India's Tata Group, is the world's biggest philanthropist," Rupert Hoogewerf, the chairman and chief researcher at Hurun, told reporters.

Setting aside two-thirds of ownership to trusts engaged in doing good in various areas, including education and healthcare, has helped Tatas achieve the top spot in giving, he said, adding that Jamsetji Tata's giving started in 1892 itself.

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Hoogewerf said there are a few names like Alfred Nobel which are not even in the list of top-50 givers of the last century, while some others are not a surprise.

A majority 38 people in the list are from the US, followed by the UK (5) and China (3). Total 37 of the donors are dead while only 13 of them are alive.

The total donations by the 50 givers are pegged at $832 billion over the last century, of which $503 billion came from foundation endowments and $329 billion from donations to date.

The annual grants by them are now topping $30 billion, Hurun said.

"Today's billionaires are not keeping up with philanthropy, making money much faster than they are giving it away," Hoogewerf said.