Person

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio October 2016 (link)
Born:

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio

November 11, 1974

Nationality:

American

Occupation:

Actor, Activist

Main Philanthropy:

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation ($30 million since 2010) [20]

Leonardo DiCaprio is an Academy Award-winning actor and environmental activist. He achieved international celebrity for his role in the 1997 James Cameron epic, Titanic.[1] He established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in 1998.[2] His foundation grantmaking and his public activism focus on issues of climate change and environmental conservation.

DiCaprio used his Academy Award acceptance speech for his role in 2015’s The Revenant to talk about what he described as the urgency of climate change issues. He has been outspoken on the subject for many years, involved with numerous documentary projects on the issue, and sat on the board of a number of environmental and conservation organizations.[3]

Early Life and Career

Born in 1974 in Los Angeles, California, Leonardo DiCaprio began acting as a child in television and commercials.[4] After moving on to film in the 90s, he earned an Oscar nomination for his role as a mentally disabled young man in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).[5] He was propelled to global celebrity in 1997, when DiCaprio starred in James Cameron’s romantic drama Titanic.

Since then he has had a celebrated career as an actor, often with well-known directors such as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, culminating in an Oscar win for his role as Hugh Glass in the 2015 film The Revenant.[6]

Activism

Also see Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (nonprofit)

DiCaprio’s 2015 Academy Award acceptance speech highlighted his concern for environmental causes, drawing controversy.[7] But the actor has been involved in philanthropy and activism since 1998, when he established the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF).

DiCaprio wrote, narrated, and produced the 2007 environmental documentary The 11th Hour.[8] Since 2010, DiCaprio’s foundation has awarded over $30 million to fund 78 projects in more than 44 countries.[9] In 2013, he organized the “11th Hour” auction. The art auction became the highest-grossing environmental charity event ever after raising $38.8 million.[10] In 2014, DiCaprio was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace for climate change.[11] He sits on the board of the World Wildlife Fund, as well as organizations including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Global Green USA, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.[12] In 2014 he was given a Clinton Global Citizen Award.[13] Partnering with National Geographic, DiCaprio made the 2016 climate change documentary “Before the Flood,” which includes an interview between the actor and President Barack Obama.[14] Other documentary projects produced by DiCaprio include Water Planet, Global Warning, and Cowspiracy.[15][16] He has spoken before the UN, most recently on the occasion of the Paris Agreement for Climate Change signing.[17]

Controversy

DiCaprio has drawn criticism for maintaining a celebrity lifestyle that includes frequent use of carbon dioxide-emitting private jets and yachts even as he condemns the consumption of fossil fuels.[18] His alleged ties to Malaysian political figures caught up in a corruption scandal has led a rainforest charity, the Bruno Manser Funds, to demand that he publicly resign from his UN messenger position.[19]

References

  1. Internet Movie Database. “Titanic”. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120338/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
  2. World Wildlife Fund. “Leonardo DiCaprio”. Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.worldwildlife.org/leaders/leonardo-dicaprio
  3. Stolworthy, Jacob. “Leonardo DiCaprio tackles climate change in Oscars speech, doesn’t mention how long he waited to win.” Independent. February 29, 2016. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/oscars/oscars-2016-leonardo-dicaprio-tackles-climate-change-in-acceptance-speech-doesnt-acknowledge-how-a6902801.html
  4. Bio. “Leonardo DiCaprio.” Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.biography.com/people/leonardo-dicaprio-9273992
  5. Bio. “Leonardo DiCaprio.” Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.biography.com/people/leonardo-dicaprio-9273992
  6. Bio. “Leonardo DiCaprio.” Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.biography.com/people/leonardo-dicaprio-9273992
  7. Stolworthy, Jacob. “Leonardo DiCaprio tackles climate change in Oscars speech, doesn’t mention how long he waited to win.” Independent. February 29, 2016. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/oscars/oscars-2016-leonardo-dicaprio-tackles-climate-change-in-acceptance-speech-doesnt-acknowledge-how-a6902801.html
  8. World Wildlife Fund. “Leonardo DiCaprio”. Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.worldwildlife.org/leaders/leonardo-dicaprio
  9. Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. “About.” Accessed January 16, 2017. http://leonardodicaprio.org/about/
  10. Allenchey, Alex. “Leonardo DiCaprio, and His Record-Breaking Environmental Charity Sale.” Artspace. May 17, 2013. Accessed January 16, 2016.

    http://www.artspace.com/magazine/news_events/newsmaker/newsmaker_leonardo_dicaprio-51184

  11. “United Nations Names Leonardo DiCaprio Messenger of Peace.” The Hollywood Reporter. September 16, 2014. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/united-nations-names-leonardo-dicaprio-733215
  12. World Wildlife Fund. “Leonardo DiCaprio”. Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.worldwildlife.org/leaders/leonardo-dicaprio
  13. Lewis, Hilary. “Leonardo DiCaprio Urges World Leaders to Prioritize Environmental Issues.” The Hollywood Reporter. September 21, 2014. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/clinton-global-citizen-awards-leonardo-734600
  14. Mindock, Clark. “Leonardo DiCaprio’s Climate Change Documentary ‘Before the Flood’ Can Be Watched For Free Online.” International Business Times. November 1, 2016. Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.ibtimes.com/leonardo-dicaprios-climate-change-documentary-flood-can-be-watched-free-online-2440001
  15. World Wildlife Fund. “Leonardo DiCaprio”. Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.worldwildlife.org/leaders/leonardo-dicaprio
  16. Mandel, Charles. “DiCaprio-backed Cowspiracy directors find new conspiracy to milk.” National Observer. February 8, 2016. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/02/08/news/dicaprio-backed-cowspiracy-directors-find-new-conspiracy-milk
  17. McLaughlin, Kelly, and Anneta Konstantinides. “‘Now is the time for bold, unprecedented action’: Leonardo DiCaprio gives impassioned speech about climate change at the United Nations.” DailyMail.com. April 22, 2016. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3554619/Now-time-bold-unprecedented-action-Leonardo-DiCaprio-gives-impassioned-speech-climate-change-United-Nations.html
  18. Battershill, Cody. “DiCaprio’s Hypocritical ‘Activism’ Is His Best Performance Yet.” Huffington Post. January 20, 2016. Accessed January 16, 2017. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/cody-battershill/leonardo-dicaprio-activism_b_9025188.html
  19. Ritman, Alex. “Leonardo DiCaprio Urged to Step Down from UN Climate Change Role.” The Hollywood Reporter. October 14, 2016. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/leonardo-dicaprio-urged-step-down-938314
  20. Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. “About.” Accessed January 16, 2017. http://leonardodicaprio.org/about/
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