Major Celebrities Donate to Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History

Major players in entertainment, sports and business have donated to help make the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History come to life on the National Mall.

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NBA star LeBron James will donate $2.5 million to support the Muhammad Ali exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the museum announced Nov. 16.
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Denzel Washington and his wife, Pauletta, hosted a fundraiser for the museum at their L.A. home in the spring, Variety first reported and a museum spokeswoman confirmed to NBC Washington.
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Although she wasn't in attendance at the Washingtons' event, Oprah Winfrey previously gifted $21 million to the museum -- making her the museum's largest individual donor so far. The museum's theater will be named the Oprah Winfrey Theater in recognition of her sizable donation, the Smithsonian has said.
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Record producer Quincy Jones donated at the Washingtons' fundraiser and also sits on the museum's advisory council, a museum spokeswoman said.
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Magic Johnson was also on hand at the Washingtons' L.A. fundraiser and made a donation, the museum said.
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Soul and R&B singer-songwriter Goapele Mohlabane performed at the Washingtons' fundraiser.
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Actor Samuel L. Jackson; his wife, LaTanya Richardson (C), and daughter, Zoe Jackson (L), are among the museum's founding donors, having given $1 million or more, according to the museum's website.
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Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates, are major donors to the new Smithsonian. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is listed as a capstone donor on the museum's website, meaning it gifted $10 million or more to the museum.
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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Bloomberg Philanthropies donated $1 million or more to the museum.
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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, also gave $1 million or more to the museum.
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Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron has also made a large donation, a museum spokeswoman said.
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Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and his wife, Alma Powell, gave $1 million or more to benefit the museum.
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