Hollywood Icon Kirk Douglas Left Most Of His $60 Million Fortune To Charities

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The Spartacus famed matinee idol, Kirk Douglas, passed away on February 5th, bringing an end to the Golden Age of Hollywood. The great loss was felt throughout the industry, while his humanitarian legacy lived on through the late actor’s charity. The legendary actor, who was equally popular for his philanthropy, passed away at the age of 103. He left a better part of his $61 million fortune as donations and endowments.

Douglas grew up during the Great Depression of the early twentieth century. His childhood was shadowed by the specters of uneasy immigration and poverty. But his experiences made him the man he grew up to be. They molded humanity into the very ethos of his being and inspired him to get involved with various charitable foundations.

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After establishing himself as one of the brightest stars of Hollywood’s Golden age, Kirk started helping out the less fortunate. He and Anne Douglas established the Douglas Foundation in 1964 for “those who cannot otherwise help themselves”. He also made a generous contribution to his alma mater St. Lawrence University.

Of the said $61 million fortune, $50 million was contributed to the Douglas Foundation. The other beneficiaries included St. Lawrence University, for minority and underprivileged students’ scholarships; Westwood’s Sinai Temple, attached to the Kirk and Anne Douglas Childhood Center; and Culver City’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, a run-down movie theatre restored into a live performance venue and Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles.

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It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103. To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to. But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband. Kirk's life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet. Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad- I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son. #KirkDouglas

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His son and fellow actor, Michael expressed- “…To the world he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years”. Michael did not inherit his father’s estate but that did not stop him from admiring the great actor as “a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to”.

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In the times of 15 minutes of fame, we can all agree that “Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet.”

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