By Jessica Shambora
October 2, 2009

“I would give up all the money I have if I could be 50. You can always make money.”

–David Rubenstein, managing director of the Carlyle Group, in the New York Times. One of America’s more low-key buyout kings, Rubenstein celebrated his 60th birthday last month, prompting him to reflect that “I could be like the pharaohs and say, ‘Bury me with my money.’ Or I could start giving it away.” The billionaire recently gave $10 million to Lincoln Center, one of  the 30 major institutions he serves with his time and money.

Rubenstein’s giving philosophy reminded us of another big giver: In 2008, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg was the largest individual philanthropist, donating $235 million (even more than the $205 million he gave in 2007). The best measure of a philanthropist is that the check to the undertaker bounces, Bloomberg said. –Jessica Shambora

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