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Philanthropy

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It's Expensive Being Rupert Murdoch

MEDIA • Did Dow Jones cost Rupert Murdoch an extra $1 billion just because he’s Rupert Murdoch? [Slate] • Rik Hertzberg to blog for The New Yorker. From YearlyKos. And without fact-checking. [WWD] • Doug Henwood feels guilty about enjoying The Nation’s cruise. Because liberals always feel guilty. [The Nation]

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Rent!

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• The Rent Guidelines Board last night split the difference between a tenants' proposal and one from landlords and settled on renewal increases of 3 and 5 percent for one- and two-year leases, respectively, in rent-stabilized apartments. Both sides, predictably enough, railed against the decision. [NYP]

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Brooke Astor Never Promised You an Azalea Garden

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Sunday’s Times brought a detailed look at Brooke Astor’s last will and testament, the “dark center of a legal battle” between her son Anthony and her grandson Philip. The article doesn’t specify how this center came to be so well illuminated — a “party” involved in the case has furnished the Gray Lady with a copy, we’re breezily informed in the story’s eleventh paragraph. The timing of the leak seems to be tied to Brooke Astor’s frail health — she is now 105 and in what the Times terms a “final decline.” So, not to be crass, but, um, who’s getting what? There’s no particular surprise as to where the lion’s share goes: to Anthony, who has redirected a bulk of the Astor fortune to himself in three controversial amendments to the 2002 document. There are, however, some pretty whimsical allotments on tap. David Rockefeller gets something! So does his (dead) brother Laurance! And NYU! And a garden. An itemization, after the jump.

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It’s Not Easy Being Lemony

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Yesterday’s essay in the back of the Times Magazine, by Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snicket, could leave less-than-prosperous readers apoplectic. Handler opens with a bang (“Let’s start by saying I have a lot of money”) and proceeds to relate a terribly humbling episode wherein an acquaintance tapped him for $5 million to preserve a historic house. The inability to cut the check on the spot plunged the Snicket scribe into a funk: “People know I have a lot of money — there’s no way to hide it … But still, I don’t have all the money.”

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