A philanthropist is someone who has a lot of money and gives it away. Anyone who has a lot of money can be a philanthropist, but there are some people that make it their mission. Those are the real heroes.
Actually, I read somewhere that the biggest philanthropist if we consider the money that they have and the money that they give as a percentage, is actually J. K. Rowling, the famous author of the Harry Potter series. I don't know how accurate this is. On the same list, I read that Bill Gates came second. J. K. Rowling recently donated a massive sum for a centre to investigate the causes of cystic fibrosis.
These days, Bill Gates is one of the biggest philanthropists around. He has given huge amounts of money to his foundation. It tries to promote education among minorities in the US. It also gives a lot of help to people in other countries for purposes like education, AIDS prevention, and other things like that.
A philanthropist is a person who puts the welfare of other people first by generously contributing financial support to various charities, causes, etc. Philanthropists are generally very wealthy and give away parts of their own fortune in order to assist others. One such person was John D. Rockefeller, the first American billionaire. He gave away hundreds of millions of dollars to charities, and legend has it that he always carried a pocketful of dimes, giving them to children that he met. My mother once received a dime from Rockefeller, not far from his home in Ormond Beach, Florida.