Portfolio

Home » Portfolio

Mahershala Ali—Actor and Musician Known for Charity Work

Mahershala Ali – Actor, Musician, and Philanthropist

Place of Birth

Mahershala Ali was born in Hayward, California, on 16 February 1974.

Industry

Mahershala Ali is a well-known actor and rapper.

Mahershala Ali Toronto International Film Festival 2016

Early Life and Career

Known as Mahershala Ali professionally, Ali was born as Mahershalalhashbaz Gilmore to a Baptist minister mother and a Broadway actor father. Ali received a scholarship for his skills in basketball and graduated with a degree in mass communication in 1996. He played for the SMC Gaels using the name Hershal Gilmore but soon became disenchanted by the sports industry and instead shifted his focus to acting. Ali accepted an apprenticeship at the California Shakespeare Theatre and spent a year working for a radio trade publication called Gavin Report. He then enrolled in a graduate acting program at the New York University and earned a master’s degree in 2000. He converted to Islam that year and took on the surname Ali.

Road to Success

Between 2001 and 2010, Mahershala Ali was known by his full name, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali. He then began using the abbreviated version, claiming that his entire name was simply too long for Hollywood.

Over the years, Ali became known for several television and movie roles, including as Remy Danton in House of Cards, Colonel Boggs in The Hunger Games, and Tizzy Weathers in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In 2016, Ali played the role of Juan, a drug dealer and mentor, in the film Moonlight. For this part, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as well as the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actor and the SAG Award. This made Ali the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.

Branching into Music

Besides being a multiple-award-winning actor, Mahershala Ali is also a talented rapper. He was signed by Hieroglyphics Imperium, a Bay Area recording label, and began recording music as Prince Ali. In 2017, he released an album called Curb Side Service but decided to focus on his career in acting instead of promoting the album.

Philanthropy

Mahershala Ali is a known benefactor of charities like City Year, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer, UNICEF, and Vital Voices.

Scholarships

After Ali won an Oscar for Moonlight, St. Mary’s College of California created the Moonlight Scholarship, and Ali made a considerable donation to the cause. The fund makes partial scholarships available to students of color and to those who would be the first in their family to attend college. Mahershala Ali was one of these students when he attended St. Mary’s by means of a basketball scholarship. His time at the school was what helped him launch his acting career.

Charitable Events

As a performer at WE Day, Mahershala Ali is an international activist for lasting social change in the United States. WE Day is a series of stadium-sized annual events held across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom. The events bring together acclaimed international speakers, A-list performers, and young people who have proven that they have made a positive impact on the world.

The Agnes and Beny Steinmetz Foundation

Mission

Steinmetz Foundation logo

The mission of the Agnes & Beny Steinmetz Foundation is to strengthen Israel’s social fabric by creating a better future for the children and youth of the country. The organization’s main focus is to support and improve services related to early childhood. The foundation hopes to help children develop the skills and confidence required to grow and develop into responsible citizens who make valuable contributions to the community.

Headquarters

The Agnes & Beny Steinmetz Foundation headquarters are located in Herzliya, Israel.

Region

The foundation is involved in several initiatives around Israel.

Supported causes

With a goal of creating a more positive future for Israeli young people, the Agnes & Beny Steinmetz Foundation supports several educational programs and organizations. The foundation is also involved in a range of education, welfare, health, and culture programs.

Main Criteria for Funding Projects

Projects funded by the foundation must be in line with the foundation’s mission of improving the lives of children and young people across Israel. The foundation works with children in need, youth at risk, and children who do not have the means of furthering their education. The Agnes & Beny Steinmetz Foundation also supports a variety of organizations that promote culture and health.

Foundation Contact Info

OFFICE ADDRESS

85 Medinat HaYehudim Street
Herzliya Pituach
Israel
46140

TELEPHONE NUMBER

+972-9-9710755

EMAIL ADDRESS

iris@bsg-investments.com
Email for Youth at Risk: shelly@bsg-investments.com

Funded Organizations/Projects

The Agnes & Beny Steinmetz Foundation is mainly involved in projects in the following spheres:

  • Early Childhood – The foundation collaborates with local municipalities to establish services aimed at improving early childhood.
  • At-Risk Youth – By working on projects using outdoor training, the foundation strives to find innovative ways to work with at-risk youth. The organization facilitates activities such as dancing, therapeutic riding, sailing, filmmaking, and drama.
  • Higher Education – The Agnes & Beny Steinmetz Foundation grants 125 scholarships every year to students through the Netanya Academic College. Students who are eligible for the scholarship volunteer to help children in a variety of roles.
  • Afterschool Centers – Through the foundation’s support, seven afterschool centers throughout the city of Netanya provide young people with hot meals, assistance with homework, and a variety of enrichment activities.
  • Health and Culture – Deeply committed to Israel, the foundation supports a range of organizations that promote health and culture, such as Ezra Vetikva and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

The Foundation’s History

The Agnes and Beny Steinmetz Foundation was launched in 2007 with the goal of creating a better future for the children of Israel. Before the foundation was established, Agnes and Beny Steinmetz were actively involved with several charitable initiatives in Israel and around the world, mainly focused on children, youth, health, and culture. The couple started the foundation after deciding to streamline their philanthropic activities and to operate more professionally and strategically. Since its establishment, the foundation has made a positive impact on the lives of 24,000 children, 2,200 parents, and 2,000 professionals.

Laurence Lien

Laurence Lien — Philanthropist and Former Nominated Member of Parliament, Singapore

Place of Birth

Singapore

Industry

Non-Profit

Laurence Lien

Early Life and Career

Laurence Lien earned degrees from the National University of Singapore as well as Oxford University. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship in 2010.

Following graduation, Lien began his career as a civil servant, accepting posts to various ministries including Community Development, Finance, Home Affairs, and Education.

Road to Success

Lien served as the CEO of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Center in Singapore from 2008 until 2014. In 2008, he also founded the Community Foundation of Singapore, where he remains chairman.

Lien serves on the board of directors of the Lien Centre for Social Innovation at Singapore Management University. He is chairman of the Lien Foundation and the Center for Non-Profit Leadership. Additionally, Lien serves as CEO of the Community Foundation of Singapore and the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Center. He is the deputy chairman of the Caritas Singapore Community Council.

As a Nominated Member of parliament from 2012-2014, Lien worked as a tireless advocate for civil society and the social sector.

Philanthropy

The Lien Foundation was established in 1980. Under Laurence Lien’s management, the foundation has set the bar for innovative approaches to pressing issues, such as sustainable communities, education, and elder care.

The Lien Foundation was founded by Laurence Lien’s grandfather, Lien Ying Chow who endowed the foundation in 1980 with half of his wealth. Laurence Lien has served as chairman of the foundation since 2009. The foundation continues to serve the vision and mission of its founder, focusing on early childhood education, water, sanitation, and elderly care. A total of approximately $120 million has been granted to organizations working in these spheres of influence.

Lien is also the co-founder and CEO of the Asia Philanthropy Circle, an incubator for Asian philanthropists. The Asia Philanthropy Circle’s vision is to create a sustainable future for Asia by bringing radical solutions to the complex and interconnected challenges that face the region.

The Lien Foundation

The Lien Foundation has three areas on which it places its focus—senior care, early childhood education, and water/sanitation. It seeks to make long-term investments in the projects it funds and maintains a goal of building capacity for innovation and collaboration.

In the area of senior care, the foundation has invested in 14 programs, including the Lien Center for Palliative Care and Project IngoT, a technology development project focused on improving patient care.

Within the Early Childhood Education portfolio is Circle of Care, which is a joint effort by the Lien Foundation and Care Corner. It is the first holistic preschool and childcare model in Singapore. Focused on at-risk children, the project seeks to close the gap between these students and their peers by providing high-quality education, social work, and healthcare. The project also builds parental involvement in their children’s education.

To address water and sanitation challenges, the Lien Foundation initiated Environmental Endeavor in 2006. In collaboration with the Nanyang Technological University, Environmental Endeavor is improving water, sanitation, shelter, and energy capacity in developing communities in Asia.

Azim Premji Foundation

Mission

Azim Premji Foundation logo

The Azim Premji Foundation’s mission is to make a deep and scaled impact on the quality of education received in India. The foundation believes that education is a vehicle of social change and strives to use this to help create a humane, equitable and just society with a sustainable future.

Headquarters

The Azim Premji Foundation head office is located in Bangalore, the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka.

Region

The field institutes of the Azim Premji Foundation are located across 6 states and on union territory of India. The states include Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Puducherry, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Telengana. The Azim Premji University is located in Bangalore, Karnataka. The foundations’ demonstration schools are located in Sirohi, Yadgir, Tonk, Uttarkashi, Udham Singh Nagar and Dhamtari.

Supported causes

With a strong focus on improving education, the Azim Premji Foundation works with governments and education departments on various initiatives geared to achieve its goals.

Foundation Contact Info

OFFICE ADDRESS

Azim Premji Foundation
#134 Doddakannelli
Next to Wipro Corporate Office
Sarjapur Road
Bangalore – 560035

TELEPHONE NUMBER

+91-80- 6614 4900/01/02

Main Criteria for Funding Projects

The Azim Premji Foundation is an operational entity and as such, does not award grants or fund outside projects.

Funded Organizations/Projects

The Azim Premji Foundation has funded a range of in-house projects over the years including:

  • Computer Learning Centres (CLCs) through the Computer Aided Learning Programme.
  • Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) focused on mainstreaming children who are not in school into government schools through assisted learning.
  • Learning Guarantee Programme (LGP) focused on identifying and rewarding schools with exceptional achievements.
  • Child-Friendly Schools Initiative focused on ensuring five years of quality schooling for every child.
  • Education for Children of Migrant Labour in answer to the critical need for education of migrant youth.
    The foundation also supports a range of field institutes and a not-for-profit university, the Azim Premji University.

The Foundation’s History

The Azim Premji Foundation was first registered in February 2000 and was solely funded by Azim Premji. The goal behind transferring his personal shares to the foundation was to make primary education universal and to bolster quality and equity in this field. The first project was undertaken in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in 2001 where the foundation was supported by local governing bodies and education departments.

By 2010, the foundation made a decision that only working on projects is not enough to make deep-rooted positive change and began to establish institutions that work alongside governing bodies. A range of district institutes was established in field locations and they began working with teachers, teaching educators, school leaders and other officials. The foundation also began establishing demonstration schools that provide free, quality education to local communities.
In 2010 the foundation also established the Azim Premji University to address the shortage of talent in the education sector. The university offered future teachers the opportunity to achieve teaching education at Masters and PhD level and also offered education in other associated fields including health, sustainability and governance – all areas geared to promote human development as a whole.

Tin Ka Ping Foundation

Mission

Tin Ka Ping Foundation logo

Founder Tin Ka Ping believed that education was the foundational stone of China’s future. Therefore, he set a mission for his charity to improve the quality of education through the promotion of moral education, Chinese culture, and integration with the world’s civilization, as a means of contributing to China.

Headquarters

Hong Kong

Region

Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan.

Supported causes

The Tin Ka Ping Foundation supports elementary and secondary schools, universities, libraries, hospitals, youth centers, elder care programs, healthcare institutions and initiatives, cultural programs, and infrastructure such as roads and bridges.

Foundation Contact Info

web: www.tinkaping.org/
web: www.tinkaping.org/contactus/?lang=en

Main Criteria for Funding Projects

The Tin Ka Ping Foundation accepts unsolicited proposals from any organization that fits within its vision and mission. Interested applicants are asked to send a one-page letter outlining its vision and mission, goals and objectives, expected outcomes and impact, evaluation methodology, and a budget.

The foundation does not have application deadlines. Proposals are reviewed by the board of directors throughout the year.

The directors look for a good match between the applicant and the foundation’s core mission and values. In addition to the above criteria, the board wants to see a demonstration of capacity, i.e. a proven history of providing services or programs. Applicants must demonstrate that there is sufficient staff to carry out the proposed project and that they have a governing body who will comply with the foundation’s monitoring and reporting requirements.

Foundation staff conduct site visits. Grantees must provide progress reports and evaluation data as soon as it is available. The Tin Ka Ping Foundation offers capacity-building support as well if it advances the project and strengthens the grantee’s ability to be successful.

Funded Organizations/Projects

Since its founding, the Foundation has provided funding for more than 1,800 libraries in rural China, 164 Tin Ka Ping secondary schools, 19 Tin Ka Ping colleges and kindergartens, 41 Tin Ka Ping primary schools, and 130 roads and bridges across China’s provinces, autonomous regions, and cities. In 2018, in celebration of Dr. Ping’s birthday, the Hong Kong University of Science was awarded an HKD 3 million donation to support its gifted education program.

The Foundation’s History

Dr. Tin Ka Ping founded TKP Foundation in 1982, with a focus on donating money to support charitable projects in Hong Kong, specifically toward educational initiatives. The following year, a kindergarten was named for Tin Ka Ping. Over the next few years, the TKP Foundation established three additional schools.

Dr. Ping funded his foundation with personal money, to which he added HKD 56 million in 2001 from the sale of his home. In 2009, Dr. Tin Ka Ping formalized his foundation by establishing a governing board. Two years later, he made another significant investment in the Foundation, earmarking HKD 257 million of his assets.

Dr. Tin Ka Ping was born in China in 1919. In 1935, he moved to Vietnam and founded a porcelain clay company. He left in 1935 after the Japanese invasion and relocated to Indonesia where he started a rubber business. Once in Hong Kong, he continued as an entrepreneur, ultimately becoming a very successful industrialist.

The Malala Fund Founded by Malala Yousafzai

Mission

The Malala Fund logo

The Malala Fund’s mission is to ensure that every girl gets 12 years of quality education that is safe and free. The organization hopes to help create a world in which every female can learn and lead.

Headquarters

The Malala Fund’s headquarters are located in Philadelphia.

Region

Based in the United States and the United Kingdom, The Malala Fund operates around the world in regions where it is most common for girls to miss out on secondary education. Some of countries on which it places a priority are Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Syria.

Supported causes

The Malala Fund supports causes that fight against the barriers that keep over 130 million girls out of school every year and helps secure quality education for girls around the world.

Foundation Contact Info

POSTAL ADDRESSES

For donations:
Malala Fund
Lockbox 11114
PO Box 70280
Philadelphia, PA 19176-0280

Other correspondence:

Malala Fund
PO Box 53347
Washington, D.C. 20009

Main Criteria for Funding Projects

All projects undertaken by the Malala Fund share a common goal of ensuring that obstacles to young girls receiving education, whether they are social or political, are removed.

Funded Organizations/Projects

With a focus on breaking down the barriers that hold girls back from attending school, the Malala Fund concentrates on three main initiatives: the Gulmakai Network, the Girls’ Voices program, and a range of research and advocacy projects.

  • The Gulmakai Network consists of a range of programs and champions of education. For example, Aware Girls Chairperson Gululai Ismail is one of the Gulmakai champions.
  • Girls’ Voices is a project that follows through on the Malala Fund’s belief that all girls’ voices should be amplified. The initiative includes Assembly, a digital publication that features inspirational stories written by girls for girls.
  • Research and advocacy projects include projects that tackle issues like early marriage, conflict, child labor, and gender bias as well as projects that raise funds allocated to girls’ education.

The Foundation’s History

The Malala Fund was formed in 2013 by Malala Yousafzai and her father Ziauddin Yousafzai. The Yousafzai family decided to establish the organization after Malala went through a terrible incident because she was outspoken in her beliefs. After the Taliban took control of the Yousafzais’ town, Malala and other girls were told they could no longer attend school. She began blogging and speaking out in public about girls having a right to learn. This made Malala a target and she was shot in the head one day by a disguised gunman on her way home from school. Instead of scaring her into submission, the savage attack spurred on the young activist. She was determined to continue speaking out and fighting until every single girl in the world could attend school.

In 2013, Angelina Jolie donated USD 200,000 to the fund. In 2014, the Malala Fund undertook several projects, including the construction of an all-girls school in Kenya and an education initiative for children in Pakistan fleeing conflict or floods. In 2015, the organization created classrooms for over 1,000 girls in Sierra Leone so they could continue their education after schools were closed because of the Ebola epidemic.

The Rotary Foundation – Service Above Self

Mission

The Rotary Foundation logo

The Rotary Foundation hopes to improve lives by building global relationships. The foundation’s goal is to create a better, more peaceful world for all and specifically to put an end to polio forever.

Headquarters

The headquarters of the Rotary Foundation is situated in Evanston, Illinois in the US.

Region

The Rotary Foundation is a global network. The foundation has satellite headquarters in New Delhi, India as well as in Parramatta, Australia. Projects are undertaken by over 35,000 clubs across the world in regions throughout Asia, North America, Central and South America, Australia, and the rest of the Pacific.

Supported causes

The foundation is dedicated to six main areas of focus:

  • Promoting peace
  • Fighting disease
  • Ensuring clean water, hygiene, and sanitation
  • Saving children and their mothers
  • Promoting literacy and education
  • Enhancing local economies
  • Eradicating polio

Foundation Contact Info

OFFICE ADDRESS

Rotary International
One Rotary Center
1560 Sherman Avenue
Evanston, IL 60201-3698, USA

Toll-Free Telephone Number

+1 866-976-8279

Main Criteria for Funding Projects

Over USD 86 million has been allocated to a range of initiatives including:

Funded Organizations/Projects

Programs include:

  •  Rotary Peace Fellowships – Every year, 100 professionals from across the globe are selected to receive academic fellowships at Rotary Peace Centers.
  • Rotary Community Corps – Uniting foundation members with non-members in communities to work together to tackle challenges within the community.
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) – A leadership development program geared for young people. The goal is to help them learn new skills and build confidence.
  • Rotary Youth Exchange – By facilitating exchange students, one young person at a time can help build peace across nations by learning new languages and discovering other cultures.
  • New Generations Service Exchange – A short-term customizable program aimed at helping university students and young professionals to design exchanges that link their professional goals to humanitarian projects.

The Foundation’s History

The Rotary Foundation was founded by Chicago attorney Paul Harris in February 1905. His idea was to bring professionals from various backgrounds together so that they could exchange ideas and collaborate to give back to communities in need. The first donation to the Rotary Foundation in 1917 was USD 26.50. In 1930, the Rotary Foundation made its first official gift of USD 500 to the International Society for Crippled Children. Within 16 years of its founding, the organization established clubs across six continents. During World War II, clubs in Germany, Japan, Austria, Spain, and Italy were forced to break up. However, despite the risks, some clubs continued to meet informally and keep the dream alive until they could begin to rebuild after the end of the war. In 1979, the Rotary Foundation began fighting polio by launching a project to immunize six million Philippine children.

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld – Comedian, Actor, and Philanthropist

Place of Birth

Jerry Seinfeld was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 29, 1954.

Industry

Jerry Seinfeld is a well-known comedian.

Jerry Seinfeld

Early Life and Career

After attending Massapequa High School on Long Island and spending some time volunteering on Kibbutz Sa’ar in Israel, Jerry Seinfeld enrolled at the State University of New York at Oswego. After two years there, he transferred to City University of New York’s Queens College where he graduated with a degree in communications and theater. During his time in college, Seinfeld participated in college productions. He also became interested in stand-up comedy and began performing at open-mic nights.

Road to Success

After graduating from college, Seinfeld was spotted doing an open-mic performance at Catch a Rising Star in New York, which led to him having an opportunity to be featured on the Rodney Dangerfield show. Seinfeld was then cast as Frankie, a mail-delivery man on a sitcom called Benson. He was fired from the show but then made an impressive appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jonny Carson. This led to further invitations to make appearances and eventually the opportunity to do his own show, Stand-Up Confidential on HBO. In 1988, he launched a sitcom called Seinfeld in collaboration with Larry David. The show became one of the most successful and popular sitcoms in American television. After the sitcom ended, Seinfeld returned home to New York and again started doing stand-up comedy.

Philanthropy

Jerry Seinfeld and his wife, Jessica, are committed to helping alleviate poverty around the world. Their philanthropic work includes hosting several charitable events every year and making donations to worthy causes. The couple started an organization called GOOD+ to help them with their charitable ventures. GOOD+ has a mission to stop family poverty by providing essential products, like clothing, for babies and people in need. Seinfeld also started the Seinfeld Family Foundation to improve children’s education and health as well as the arts. Launched in 2000, this organization has so far donated nearly USD 2 million to selected causes.

Charitable Events

By hosting events every year, Seinfeld raises money for GOOD+ and the Seinfeld Family Foundation. Every year, he holds a Halloween bash where celebrities get together in costume with the goal of raising money for a good cause. For the past 11 years, Seinfeld has held a gala in which donated goods are collected for families in need. So far, over USD 42 million worth of products has been donated to a range of antipoverty projects across the nation.

Corporate Sponsorship

Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld proactively seek out sponsorships from appropriate companies. Corporate sponsorships include brands like Ergo Baby, Weil, Seventh Generation, and Children’s Place. The idea is to create lasting partnerships with companies open to helping with in-store promotions, hosting events, or sponsoring essentials needed for babies and children.

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh — Political Commentator, Radio Talk Show Host

Place of Birth

Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1951

Industry

Radio & Television

Early Career

Rush Limbaugh launched his radio career when he was only 16. Adopting the handle Rusty Sharpe, he began spinning records as the station disc jockey.

After graduating from high school in 1969, Limbaugh attended Southeast Missouri State University, leaving after two years to become a DJ in Pittsburgh. He continued in the radio industry, working at several stations and ultimately ending up in Sacramento, California in 1984.

In Sacramento, Limbaugh began to build a solid following of conservative listeners. In 1988, he moved to New York City and became the host of a national radio show. It came at an opportune time, falling between the two major US party conventions.

By the early 1990s, Rush Limbaugh had become the most popular talk show host on radio. His style combined performance with a hard-hitting, intellectual presentation of the facts. He became renowned and appreciated for his wit, satire, and sharp humor. He was unafraid to touch upon even the most taboo subjects of the day or to take on national personalities. Eventually, his show was syndicated to more than 650 radio stations across America. Today, the show reaches more than 20 million listeners every week.

Advocacy and Philanthropy

Rush Limbaugh has used his platform for philanthropic causes, among them the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America. His annual Cure-A-Thon broadcast on his three-hour radio show has raised more than $47 million to advance the organization’s research and family-support programs.

The stated mission of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma as well as to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Founded in 1949, LLS has partners and chapters throughout the United States and Canada. Limbaugh and his wife, Kathryn, have personally contributed more than $600,000 to LLS.

Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation

Rush Limbaugh is also a strong advocate and supporter of the US Armed Forces. He has used his show to raise awareness of the accomplishments and needs of the country’s military personnel. In particular, Limbaugh has been a long-term supporter of the Marine-Corps Law Enforcement Foundation and has helped to successfully channel millions to support the organization. His designer tea company, Two If by Tea, has been a sponsor of the Foundation since 2011.

The Marine-Corps Law Enforcement Foundation was founded in 1995. It supports the children of fallen soldiers by providing medical assistance and scholarships. More than $50 million has been distributed to qualified children since its founding.

Awards and Recognition

Rush Limbaugh is one of the most famous voices representing conservatives in America. He has received multiple awards from the industry and other media platforms. The National Association of Broadcasters honored him with the Marconi Radio Award for Syndicated Radio Personality of the Year five times since 1992.

In 1993, Limbaugh was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame and the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998. Time Magazine listed him among the 100 Most Influential People in the World, and Forbes Magazine named him as one of the 50 Most Powerful Celebrities in the United States.

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise—Actor, Director, and Musician

Place of Birth

Gary Sinise was born in Illinois in 1955.

Industry

Gary Sinise is a well-known actor, director, and musician.

Early Career

After graduating high school, Gary Sinise attended Illinois State University. While there, he co-founded the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, which has given notable actors the opportunity to showcase their talents and provided Sinise with the opportunity to develop his directing skills.

Sinise began to attract the attention of the film industry with his work on True West, for which he was an actor and director and for which he earned an Obie Award in 1982. He went to collaborate with Tom Hanks on three iconic movies: Apollo 13, Forrest Gump, and The Green Mile.

In 2004, Sinise began acting on television in the hit series CSI: New York, playing the role of detective Mac Taylor.

Advocacy and Philanthropy

Gary Sinise’s first major advocacy project was Operation Iraqi Children. He wanted the world to know the reality of how US soldiers were rebuilding communities and helping children in Iraq. Former President George W. Bush presented Sinise with the Presidential Citizen Medal for his efforts on behalf of the American military and of children in Iraq.

Sinise has narrated several projects for the US military, including Army Strong recruitment advertisements, the History Channel’s World War II in HD, and Missions that Changed the War, which aired on the Military Channel. He is the national spokesperson and leads significant fundraising efforts for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. In addition, he co-hosts the annual National Memorial Day Concert, which takes place on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

Sinise has been given several awards for his tireless work on behalf of military veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families, including being named an honorary Marine by the US Marine Corps and an honorary Chief Petty Officer by the US Navy.

Musician

Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band has been a successful vehicle for his work on behalf of veterans and the Armed Forces. The band was co-founded with Kimo Williams and is named after Sinise’s famous character in Forrest Gump—Lieutenant Dan Taylor. The band travels the world on USO tours and brings global attention to the contributions of the US Armed Forces.

Gary Sinise Foundation

The Gary Sinise Foundation was founded in 2011 to build upon Sinise’s personal efforts on behalf of veterans and defense personnel. The mission of the foundation is to “serve and honor our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, and their families.” The foundation’s myriad of initiatives includes building homes for veterans dealing with severe disabilities, visiting hospitals and rehab centers, and serving meals to troops preparing for deployment.

Sinise received the US Army’s third highest civilian award in 2013—the Outstanding Civilian Service Award—in recognition of his work.

Load More Posts