the slate 60 Analysis of the year's biggest philanthropists.
The history of the Slate 60.
By David Plotz
Updated Monday, Feb. 20, 2006, at 8:22 AM ET
The Slate 60 attempts to fuse two essential but conflicting aspects of the American character: generosity and competitiveness. So, it's not surprising that the inspiration for the list came from a man rich in both qualities, Ted Turner. In 1996, Slate editor Michael Kinsley was struck by remarks Turner made in an interview with Maureen Dowd: The CNN founder bemoaned the influence of the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, saying it discouraged the wealthy from giving away their money for fear of slipping down the rankings. Turner suggested that a list of charitable contributions could inspire rich Americans to compete in a more beneficial way."