Let Us Now Praise Famous Men…and Women

Segueing from the posting earlier this week on Angelina Jolie’s interview with Anderson Cooper, to the blog posting this morning by arguably The New York Times’s most successful blogger David Pogue, I can’t help but sense a wonderful trend afoot.

Ms. Jolie leveraged her post-partum celebrity to garner global attention, via CNN, for her humanitarian work in Africa. “When CNN’s Anderson Cooper marveled that she gives away a third of her earnings, Ms. Jolie laughed” and offered Mr. Cooper this great quote: “Yes, well, I have a stupid income for what I do for a living.”

When Bill Gates announced his decision to step down (in two years) to turn his full attention to his foundation, he further bolstered his reputational transformation from capitalistic monopolist to global humanitarian. (Some will attribute the transformation to former MS’er Mr. Scoble and the legions of Microsoft bloggers, but we’re talking personal not institutional here.)

And let’s not forget about Bono — another A-lister who’s traded on his celebrity to do real good in this world. Jolie, Gates, Bono all have morphed into a whole new dimension of uber-celebrity through their humanitarian deeds. Now if only Mark Cuban could keep his petulance in check. Mark, for your own good, see what Sir Elton has become before you decide to publicly berate the refs (or anyone).