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What Does Tom Cruise Do For Charity?

Tom Cruise is one of the most famous actors in the world and hands many awards and acting credits to his name. Most people know about his various acting roles and personal details reported in the media, but they may need to realize what he does for charity. So, what does Tom Cruise do for charity? Please keep reading to find out more about his charitable endeavors and more about his life.

Tom Cruise's Early Life

Tom Cruise was born in Syracuse, New York, and lived with his mother, father, and three sisters. He came from a Catholic family and had a challenging upbringing regarding finances. Cruise would go on to claim that his father was abusive to him and made his childhood difficult, which may be a primary reason he takes so much interest in helping with children's charities and causes.

He also has challenges with his education because he attended a whopping 15 schools in only 14 years. His family resided in Canada then, and his father was a defense consultant for the Canadian Armed Forces. He later died of cancer in the year 1984. An interesting fact about Tom Cruise is that he strived to become a priest in his early life. He went to a seminary in Ohio on a scholarship.

However, his dreams were dashed when he was caught drinking and expelled. After his departure, he became interested in acting. He went back to attend a regular high school, where he graduated in 1980 from Glen Ridge High School, which is located in Glen Ridge, New Jersey.

After graduation, he avidly pursued his acting career and landed his first role in a film after signing with CAA. It was 1981's Endless Love, although he only had a small part, that opened the door for other opportunities that paved the way to his stardom.

Tom Cruise Charity Work

Over his long and noteworthy career, Tom Cruise has devoted much of his time and attention to charity and philanthropic endeavors. He has found a passion for helping others, whether it's a big donation or a small act of kindness to help people, whether they are strangers or coworkers.

For example, there was an incident in 1996 where he and another woman were involved in an accident, and he paid for the other person's hospital and recovery bills. He's also been known to work closely with other actors to help them through difficult times to ensure they complete the project at hand and have time to take care of their family and obligations away from work.

In fact, many consider him one of the top philanthropists in Hollywood, with many credits to his name for helping great causes and organizations. However, he is engaged in helping the following causes in terms of significant charity focuses.

  • Children's health and well-being
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Adoption
  • The creative arts

In fact, many would be surprised to learn that several groups, such as the LA Jewish community, have bestowed awards on him in the past for his philanthropic endeavors. This is especially controversial because Tom Cruise is one of the most, if not the most famous, devoted Scientologists who belong to The Church of Scientology. However, many in the Jewish community still found the award unusual, but nonetheless, he devoted his time and resources to providing a better life for others.

Autism Awareness and Research

Another of Tom Cruise's interests in terms of charity work has been autism awareness and research. Although there was also gossip and speculation about Cruise being on the autism spectrum, there is no concrete evidence to suggest this claim. However, he continues to support this worthy cause avidly. He contributes his efforts and resources to helping others get the treatment and services they need, along with research and building awareness.

Children's Hospice Care Coalitions

Another great organization he supports is the Children's Hospice Care Coalitions. The organization is devoted to providing palliative and hospice care for children. Well-being and assistance for needy children are one of his favorite causes, which he spreads out his attention through several organizations. In this vein, he also supports AIDS and HIV awareness and prevention in pediatric patients.

In 2007, Tom Cruise was the guest of honor at the Mentor LA Christ Gala for his efforts in the Tom Cruise Charity Work Events and Causes Cruise organization initiative. He's even managed to intertwine his career with his philanthropy in cases like the screening of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back in 2016. It was held in Knoxville, TX and the event was able to raise $600,000 for the Children's Charity of Eastern Tennessee. He often works with communities to raise money in unique and effective ways.

These are some of the charities that Tom Cruise supported continuously throughout his career.

  • Mentor LA
  • Raising Malawi
  • HELP
  • Children's Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition
  • Lollipop Theatre Network
  • Stockings With Care
  • Motion Picture and Television Fund
  • Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation
  • Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes
  • Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

While this is not a comprehensive list, this is a good overview of the charitable causes he values and supports.

How Did Tom Cruise Amass His Wealth To Enable Him to Devote His Resources to Charity?

Tom Cruise is an American actor and producer. He was born on July 3, 1962, and began acting early in his life in the 1980s. Over the years, he became one of the most successful, well-known, and highest-grossing actors of all time. In fact, he's managed to create films that have earned over $11.1 billion at the box office globally.

His breakthrough role was considered by many to be 1983's Risky Business. His most widely recognized and popular role was as Maverick in the movie Top Gun, released in 1986. Some other top-selling films of his career were Born on the Fourth of July, Rainman, Interview with the Vampire, A Few Good Men, and Jerry Maquire.

These are just a few of the incredibly popular blockbusters that he has acted in over the years. His cutting-edge performances have allowed him to receive three Academy Awards nominations, three Golden Globe awards, and numerous other noteworthy awards for his excellence in film and even a potential nomination for his latest movie, Top Gun: Maverick, for Best Motion Picture Drama.

Successful Films Through the Decades

Tom Cruise has had plenty of blockbusters and a few hits that weren't favorites of critics. Still, these movies became fan favorites and are classics of cinema today. He's been actively working in film and producing projects since the early 1980s and shows no sign of stopping today. Consider the following movies that have helped him create his image and amass his wealth and influence, which he uses to support many charities globally.

In the '80s, he filmed The Outsiders, All the Right Moves, Risky Business, Legend, Top Gun, and The Color of Money. Fans also loved Rainman, Cocktail, and Born on the Fourth of July.

In the '90s, Cruise's career picked up even more steam with top hits such as Days of Thunder, The Firm, Interview With the vampire, and Mission: Impossible. The Mission Impossible films are where Tom Cruise began his career in production, which would continue to carry through to the present. He later went on to act in Jerry Maguire, The Guardian, and Magnolia.

In the 2000s, he started in Mission Impossible: Impossible 2, Vanilla Sky, Minority Report, The Last Samurai, Collateral, War of the Worlds, Mission Impossible III, Tropic Thunder, and Valkyrie.

The 2010s and beyond featured him Knight and Day, Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, One Shot, Oblivion, The Mummy, Mission Impossible - Rouge Nations, and Mission Impossible - Fallout.

Today, he is enjoying accolades and praise for his latest film, Top Gun: Maverick, which was also his largest-grossing film ever.


Although Tom Cruise is one of the most famous and highest-grossing actors of all time, he is equally devoted to charity work in many ways. He's interested in more than donating money, but his effort and time to ensure he can help contribute significantly to the causes he cares about the most.

While he is a highly controversial figure for his religious beliefs and quirky personality, no one can doubt his extreme dedication to helping worthy causes, especially for children.

Over his career, he's donated millions to the causes he's involved with and continues to keep his commitment to helping those in need. Many claim he is one of Hollywood's most giving and noteworthy philanthropists.

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Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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