Jim Stowers is one of the "most generous people on the planet," according to Forbes' list of philanthropists who have given away $1 billion or more (Stowers has given about $1.9 billion, although I have yet to see a check with my name on it).
Stowers has not been a member of the Forbes 400 since 2000, but unlike most members who drop off, it wasn't because he lost money or died. The mutual fund tycoon -- he started what became the American Century fund family in 1958 -- decided to give $1.2 billion to endow the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City. Since then he and his wife Virginia have given another $700 million to the institute, which performs genetic research targeted at advancing the understanding of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions.The work of the devil, if you asked anti-abortion folks. I didn't.