Leona Helmsley’s $4 billion bequeathal topped Slate.com’s annual ranking of the country’s largest charitable gifts. The Slate 60, which ranked gifts made or pledged in 2007, was released Monday on the Web site.
Helmsley, the real estate mogul known as “The Queen of Mean,” left the money to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Foundation upon her death last summer. Her bequest was among five gifts made by Jews, including financier George Soros and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ranked in the top 10. Seventeen of the gifts were made by philanthropists who are either known to be or assumed to be Jewish. Detroit Pistons owner William Davidson made the largest gift to a Jewish institution with a $75 million donation to Hadassah: The Women’s Zionist Organization of America. That gift was ranked No. 28. Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson tied with nine other philanthropists ranked at No. 58 with a $30 million gift to the Adelson School, a private Jewish high school in Las Vegas.