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“I feel as though this is their award,” he said, “and I feel like I’m accepting it on behalf of my own community here because they are the ones that have responded and allowed me to succeed in supporting all these great charities.”
Katzenberg first learned about being charitable from his parents, whom he described as “generous givers.” As a young professional, he followed the examples set by Lew and Edie Wasserman, who introduced him to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, and lifelong philanthropist Kirk Douglas, whom Katzenberg characterized as “a great inspiration.”
“He’s one of the most generous people I know, and I asked him why he did it,” Katzenberg recalled. “He said, `You haven’t learned how to live until you learn how to give.’ And when those words come from Spartacus, you listen.”
Katzenberg was nominated for an Oscar as a producer of 2002’s “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron,” but says his proudest moments have stemmed from giving.
“The most moving and most tragic and, in a way, most rewarding for me personally was after 9-11, we had this amazing telethon where all of the talent of movie and television and music industries came together and did this unprecedented two-hour live concert,” he said.
AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen is on Twitter: www.twitter.com/APSandy.
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