Recently, David Beckham, the only soccer player you have ever heard of, announced that he would donate his entire salary to charity, which we assume was part of the bargain he made with Lucifer in exchange for self-chiseling abdominal muscles and Posh Spice's inflated boobs. As it turns out, Beckham isn't the only person to give away a fortune (regardless of motive).
#3. George Lucas
When bearded dollar sign George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, Star Wars fans across the globe collectively seethed with rage, probably because they'd waded through 10 years of shitty prequels and cartoons to be rewarded with this picture:
Disney via Washington Post
"We were wrong, everybody. Star Wars COULD get more lame."
To be fair, we would sell anything for $4 billion, regardless of whose name was on the check. However, Lucas has pledged to give virtually all of that money to charity, because he's spent the past four decades selling anything large enough to print "Star Wars" on and quite frankly doesn't need the extra cash anyway. While his plans are thunderously vague at this point (his representatives won't even say what charities he plans to make it rain on), we have to admit that it is a pretty remarkable gesture, especially coming from a man who spent two hours in 1999 telling the rest of humanity he doesn't give one bleeding shit about them.
#2. Bob Marley
Reggae legend and occasional T-shirt mascot Bob Marley is one of the most influential and recognizable musicians in recent history, even if the only reason you know him is from that oversized poster hanging in the apartment of the guy you buy weed from. His posthumous record Legend went 10 times platinum, and pretty much everyone reading this article can name at least one of his songs.
Chris Walter / Getty
No hooker, no pie? No whiskey, no chai?
However, if you said "No Woman No Cry" just then, you'd be wrong. That is a Bob Marley song, true, but the writing credit for that particular tune went to Vincent Ford, an old friend of his who ran a soup kitchen. The popular consensus is that Marley actually did write the song, but gave credit to Ford to lend his friend some financial support. Marley did the same thing with other close friends and family, both as a way to help them out and as a way to dodge certain contractual obligations from an agreement he'd signed before making it big. He didn't want his new music to be associated with the old producer (who was presumably a mighty douchebag), and he didn't really give an ass about the songwriting royalties, so Marley figured he would spread the credit around to help the people he cared about. MC Hammer tried a similar tactic, albeit with much less success.
#1. J.M. Barrie
J.M. Barrie was the guy who wrote Peter Pan, everyone's favorite story about hard-line chauvinism. His spirited tale of magic and adventure has been delighting both children and kings of pop for over a century, so it stands to reason that it must have made the Barrie family a fortune.
"After all, this mustache isn't cheap."
Actually, no, it didn't. You see, just before his death, Barrie gave the Peter Pan copyright to the Great Ormand Street Hospital, so any and all Peter Pan-related royalties have gone toward helping sick children since the mid-1950s, and will continue to do so until the end of forever.
Since swindling money from dying children is typically portrayed in an unglamorous light, no one has ever really tried to dodge this copyright. That is, except for Disney, who opted to not make a new Peter Pan movie when they were told that some of their profits would have to be given to the hospital.
Disney via Washington Post
"... man, George, maybe you should've just sold Lucasfilm to a cancer ward."
In the spirit of this article, when it goes live Karl is going to give one random person who follows him on Twitter $20, via PayPal, on the condition that they use it to do something nice for someone else, as thanks for all the nice messages people sent his sister when she was unwell.