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John H. Johnson Award

Robert F. Smith

Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners

According to Forbes magazine, this billionaire is one of the most successful businessmen in the country. He also gives generously to altruistic causes. In fact, he came in second, just behind Oprah, in donations to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, writing a check for a cool $20 million. Smith is, no doubt, an under-the-radar historymaker: His appointment as board chairman of Carnegie Hall made him the first Black person to ever hold such a title. The Denver native has not forgotten from whence he came. In fact, he established an organization, Fund II Foundation, whose mission is the preservation of historical culture of the Black experience. With an endowing spirit as awakened as this humanitarian's, it's no wonder he's the first African-American billionaire to sign the Giving Pledge, a commitment to contribute the majority of his wealth to philanthropic causes. Smith is also the first recipient of the John H. Johnson Award.

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