The last member of Hollywood's golden age remained true to his philanthropy till the very end, leaving his entire fortune to his foundation.
Actor Kirk Douglas passed away earlier this month at the age of 103. His son Michael Douglas, also an actor, announced his father's passing in an official statement posted to Facebook. Even in his passing, it appears that Douglas never let go of his charitable roots. He left almost his entire fortune to philanthropic projects. The Hollywood legend left behind $50 million to his organization, The Douglas Foundation. The charity will distribute the funds amongst various other non-profits and projects, The Independent reports. Meanwhile, it appears that his son has been left high and dry; Douglas, unfortunately, did not leave any money from his fortune behind for his son.
The Douglas Foundation, established in 1964 with his wife Anne Douglas with the goal of “helping those who cannot help themselves," will distribute the $50 million amongst various beneficiaries, including St. Lawrence University, Culver City's Kirk Douglas Theatre, the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, and Westwood's Sinai Temple, which is home to the Kirk and Anne Douglas Childhood Centre. His total fortune, however, comes up to a total of $61 million. It is unclear where the remaining $11 million will go at present. Nonetheless, Michael Douglas, estimated to be worth around $300 million, will not receive even a penny the actor's will reportedly states.
Douglas created the foundation as a result of his own experiences with poverty. Both he and his wife were witness to strife and hardship, which ultimately motivated them to use their privilege for better. The couple thus established The Douglas Foundation as a means to "improve education and health, foster well-being, and most importantly, develop new opportunities for the children who hold our future in their hands." The organization additionally focuses on medical research, equipment, and programs within the health system to improve healthcare within local communities. Hopefully, the foundation will be able to reach more of its goals through the actor's generous donation.
Though Douglas may not have left anything to his son, there is probably little animosity between the father-son duo. Announcing Douglas' passing, his son wrote in a post uploaded to Facebook, "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."
Even while he was alive, Douglas was intensely dedicated to philanthropy. As a pioneer of quality education for all, several of his donations were made out to his former high school and college. In 2012, for instance, he made a $5 million donation to St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. He was also a big proponent of ensuring equal access to healthcare. Therefore, he celebrated his 99th birthday by donating $15 million to Harry's Haven, an Alzheimer's treatment facility in Woodland Hills. The donation was used to build a new two-story Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion. Douglas passed away due to natural causes but will always be remembered as a star of Hollywood's Golden Age.