William Bradley Pitt was born on December 18, 1963, in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He lived with his dad, William, the owner of a trucking company, and his mom, Jane, a school counselor. Young William also grew up with 2 siblings, Doug and Julie.
While the children were still small, the Pitt family moved to Springfield, Missouri. It was here that the teenage future heartthrob would participate in Kickapoo High School's tennis, golf, and swim team. He also took part in the forensics team and school musicals.
Upon graduating in 1982, Pitt enrolled at the University of Missouri and majored in journalism. He left just 2 weeks shy of earning his degree. Brad had decided that he'd take his chances in Hollywood.
After working odd jobs, like dressing up as the El Pollo Loco chicken and driving strippers around in limos, his auditions started to pay off. He had landed some guest appearances on shows like Growing Pains and 21 Jump Street.
Pitt's Big Movie Break
Then, in 1991, we were introduced to him when he portrayed the handsome hitchhiker in the popular film Thelma and Louse. Brad was then cast in more meatier roles like, A River Runs Through It, Legends of the Fall (the role that would cement him as a major heartthrob - who could also act).
But it was Interview With The Vampire, where he eclipsed Tom Cruise, that Pitt became one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. He went on to floor us in films like Seven, 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, and Inglorious Bastards. Brad Pitt has gone on to appear in over 100 films.
Along the way, he won several major awards, including:
- 2 Academy Awards (7 nominations)
- 2 Golden Globes (8 nominations)
- 2 SAG Awards (9 nominations)
In 2000, Pitt married actress Jennifer Aniston. Together, the couple created Plan B Entertainment company. The production company is responsible for blockbusters like The Departed and 12 Years A Slave.
When the couple divorced in 2005, Pitt took control of the company. In 2014, Pitt married Angelina Jolie. The two had been together for several years prior to their marriage. It was during his time with Jolie, that Pitt became totally enveloped in humanitarian and charitable works. So what exactly does support? Let's find out.
Brad Pitt Charity Work
Brad Pitt's charity work is second to none. All told, he supports or has personally organized an astounding 42 charities event . He also supports and advocates for 31 general causes.
Upon his entering a relationship with Angelina Jolie, the two created the Jolie-Pitt Foundation. The purpose of the organization was to help create environmental stability to improve the health and peace of communities in need around the world.
This includes clean water and sustainable cooking resources. Jolie and Pitt personally donated over $8 million to the organization. The couple have also traveled all over the world to personally assist in the foundation's efforts.
Some of the other charities of note that Brad Pitt has been heavily involved with include:
1. African Children's Choir
This choir is made up of children from some of Africa's poorest countries. The choir has performed all over the world, including for the Queen of England. Their performances raise money for the education of the children of Africa.
2. Care To Learn
Started by Pitts brother, Doug, Care To Learn aims to help the 28% of children in Missouri that live in poverty. The goal is to ensure as many children as possible have the food, healthcare, and hygiene products they need to succeed in school.
3. Daniel Pearl Foundation
Daniel Pearl was an American journalist who was brutally murdered in the Middle East. Having been a journalism major himself, Pitt is an avid supporter of the group that awards scholarships to foreign journalists to come to the United States and learn more about the profession by spending 6 months at the Wall Street Journal, Pearls employer at the time of his death.
4. Not On Our Watch
Pitt, along with fellow actors Din Cheadle, George Clooney, and Matt Damon founded this organization to bring attention to the human rights atrocities occurring in the African country of Darfur and other places around the world.
5. Right To Play
This organization helps children from around the world to overcome challenges and stay safe. They use games, sports, and art to educate them on the importance of staying in school and keeping themselves safe from things like HIV, child exploitation, and malaria.
6. Sophie's Gift
This cancer organization invests its resources in finding the best researchers from across the globe. The goal is to bring them together to work as a team to find a cure for the disease.
7. Child Find
This non-profit works to solve and prevent child abduction. They provide resources to assist with family issues that can lead to kidnapping and abuse within a family.
8. Project ALS
The organization funds research that will hopefully lead to a cure for this degenerative disease of the nervous system. In addition, they are always working on treatments and therapies to give people with the disease a better quality of life.
9. Alliance For The Lost Boys Of Sudan
The "Lost Boys", refers to over 20,000 boys who were orphaned during the Sudanese Civil War (1987-2005). The alliance provides healthcare and clean water to villages most affected by the war. They also provide beds and other supplies for orphanages and provide school supplies.
10. Make It Right
This foundation was personally started by Pitt in response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster that devastated New Orleans 9th Ward. Pitt, who was living in New Orleans at the time, pledged to build housing for those who lost theirs in the disaster. The organization did build 109 affordable homes.
It did so with environmentally friendly materials. Unfortunately, the materials did not stand up to the rainy, humid weather of the area. Over time, most of the homes began to deteriorate. The residents were unable to keep up with repairs and many of the homes were either abandoned or razed. The organization recently reached a settlement with the homeowners for $20 million.
These are but a few of the organizations Brad Pitt has worked with for charity.
- The Clara Lionel Foundation
- Cure For Autism Now
- American Foundation For Equal Rights
- Doctors Without Borders
- Make A Wish
- Make Poverty History
- World Food Program
- UN Millenial Project
- Yele's Haïti Foundation
- Live 8
- Donate Life America
- One Campaign
- Boys and Girls Club
- Human Rights Watch
- Solar Neighbor Program
- Global Green
It is clear that, for Brad Pitt, charity work is a huge part of his life. Even though he and Angelina Jolie are now divorced, together they did their part on a personal level to help. Donating millions of dollars and adopting three 3 children from poverty-ravaged regions from around the world.
This includes their daughter Zahara, who was abandoned by her birth mother because she had health problems. Zahara is presently attending college at the prestigious Spelman College. Pitt continues to rally for and encourage others to get involved in causes like:
- foster care
- AIDS/HIV research
- at risk youth
- disaster relief
- missing/exploited children
- clean water initiatives
- human trafficking
- civil rights
Overview: What Is Brad Pitt Up To Now?
In addition to his acting career and charity work, Brad Pitt has plenty to keep him busy. He recently purchased a historic home along the California Central Coast. The beachfront home is rich with iconic architecture (a passion for Pitt) and natural outdoor beauty. He is currently working to make improvements to the home.
He also owns a winery in France that was recently reopened as a music studio. In the past, Pink Floyd recorded The Wall at the location.
Pitt also continues to focus on his sobriety. He has been open about his struggles with alcohol and his journey with sobriety. Pitt has publicly thanked fellow actor Bradley Cooper for sponsoring him in AA and helping him stay sober.
As for acting, Brad says he "considers himself on his last leg" with acting. With a net worth of $300 million, he can certainly afford it.
He will, however, continue to create and distribute films through his production company Plan B. Though Pitt recently sold 60% of the company for a reported 300 million dollars (half of which was in cash), he will continue to be a huge creative force within the company.
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Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith