01/31/2013 09:52 am ET Updated Jan 31, 2013

7 Rich Philanthropists Who Grew Up Humbly

We sometimes take our favorite philanthropists for granted.

Maybe it's because throwing around a few million to support global education here, writing a fat check to fight poverty there doesn’t really put a dent in the wallet of someone who’s achieved billionaire status. But what we never really took time to think about was how some of the mega-rich donors didn’t always live the cushy life of caviar and private jets.

Some of the wealthiest givers out there struggled to get by while growing up –- working odd jobs and never quite being sure that they would escape their humble beginnings.

But seven magnanimous givers managed to do just that. They went from paupers to serious philanthropists who always keep the underprivileged in mind when it comes to doling out their fortunes.

Click through the slideshow below to read their stories.

7 Philanthropists Who Were Once Poor