Well before Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson and Conan O’Brien hit the late night circuit, there was Johnny Carson — a venerable comedy icon who branded the chatty exchanges that have become so common between hosts and celebrities.
Charitable donations were always a regular part of Carson’s repertoire, and recently, reporters at The Smoking Gun have determined that following the comedian’s death 5 years ago, $156 million dollars was quietly transferred from his estate to the John W. Carson Foundation.
So far, a total of $3 million in donations have been made to 67 different organizations with an additional funds intended for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles ($4 million), Planned Parenthood ($125,000), and the Los Angeles Free Clinic ($100,000).
Typically low-key regarding the depth and breadth of his philanthropy, one can only assume that Carson would have preferred that this information remain under the radar, as he was clearly not ‘in it‘ for the pat on the back but rather for the positive social change it enables.
This is one hefty act of random kindness and demonstrates that pure generosity of the spirit keeps us alive… even when our physical form is no longer of this world.