IMPACT
08/09/2010 05:11 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Johnny Carson's $156 Million Donation: Entertainer Continues Philanthropy After Death

Information has surfaced showing that Johnny Carson, the beloved "Tonight Show" host who passed away in 2005, left $156 million to charity.

Carson's generous posthumous donation was uncovered by The Smoking Gun, where reporters looked at tax returns filed by the John W. Carson Foundation. After his death, the $156 million contribution was transferred from Carson's estate to his foundation, where the money is being used to support dozens of nonprofit organizations. Carson never publicly announced the donation, letting his good deed slip by quietly until its recent revelation.

So far, Carson's money has been doled out to the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Free Clinic and Planned Parenthood. Carson's foundation also supports several nonprofits in Nebraska, the entertainer's home state.

The enormous scale of Carson's charitable gift is reminiscent of other generous philanthropists, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who have recently been making headlines by pledging billions to charity and asking America's wealthiest families to donate half of their money.