George Clooney: Everyone's Favourite Coffee Mate
While we're used to seeing George Clooney on the big (and small) screen, these days, he's more likely to be found in the corridors of the United Nations, advocating for justice reforms. It's been quite a ride for the actor-turned-philanthropist.
George Clooney hasn’t had a hard life. Let’s face it, as a leading Hollywood actor and director, with a global property portfolio, multiple business ventures and an equally successful wife, life could be a whole lot worse.
As he marks his 62nd birthday, (May 6th), it’s hard to believe a small-town boy has come so far. Born in 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, his father was a TV journalist, and his mother was a pageant queen and city council member.
With an interest in acting from a young age, after finishing college, Clooney moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting. Working odd jobs to support himself between auditions, he eventually landed his first minor television role in 1984. He went on to appear in several television shows, including The Facts of Life and Roseanne, before landing his breakthrough role as Dr Doug Ross on the medical drama ER, in 1994.
An instant heartthrob with viewers, his television success led to film roles, including From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and Batman & Robin (1997). His Hollywood status continued to grow, as did the long list of the suitably glamourous women he dated, including Kelly Preston, Lisa Snowdon, Renee Zellweger, Lucy Liu and Elisabetta Canalis.
It wasn’t until the mid-2000s that Clooney turned his hand to directing, in charge of his first film, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, before following his success with Good Night, and Good Luck and the critically acclaimed The Ides of March.
George Clooney: Love Life
It wasn’t long afterwards that Clooney first met his future wife, Amal Almuddin, at a charity event in 2013. A prominent human rights lawyer with a portfolio of globally renowned cases, she is a keen advocate for women's and children’s rights and has taken on many high-profile humanitarian cases. She is also a senior advisor to the United Nations and a prominent international law author. In fact, she was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.
It didn’t take long for George to be won over by Amal’s pervasive combination of brains and beauty, and he proposed in April 2014. They married later that year in Venice. The couple have two children.
George Clooney, Philanthropist
Since that time, George has redefined his own career towards philanthropy, leveraging his celebrity and status to support a wide range of charitable causes. He has been particularly active in advocating for human rights, global health, and disaster relief.
One of George's most high-profile philanthropic efforts is his work with Not On Our Watch, a non-profit organisation he co-founded in 2008 with other celebrities including Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt. The organisation aimed to prevent mass atrocities and promote human rights in conflict zones around the world, with a particular focus on the Darfur region of Sudan. Today, the organisation continues as The Sentry, with Clooney continuing in his role as a director of the charity.
Clooney has also been involved in a number of other charitable efforts. He has supported organisations including the Red Cross and the United Nations World Food Programme. He is also a vocal campaigner on climate change and supports many other arts, education and health campaigns.
The Clooney Foundation for Justice
In 2017, Clooney and his partners sold their successful tequila business, Casamigos, for a reputed 1 billion dollars. It was reported that he donated $100 million of his proceeds of the sale to a number of charitable causes. The funds were also put into the charity he and his wife Amal founded together in 2016, the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ).
A non-profit with the aim of advancing justice in courtrooms, classrooms and communities, the organisation has a global focus on protecting human rights.
Refugee crises: The CFJ works to support refugees around the world, by providing education, legal assistance, and other forms of support. The foundation has partnered with organisations such as the International Rescue Committee and UNICEF to provide resources and advocacy for refugees.
Criminal justice reform: The CFJ advocates for reform of the criminal justice system, focusing on ending mass incarceration and reducing racial and economic disparities in the justice system. The foundation has supported initiatives such as the Bail Project, which provides bail assistance to low-income individuals, and the Sentencing Project, which works to reduce the number of people in prison.
Accountability for war crimes: The CFJ works to hold perpetrators of war crimes accountable for their actions, by supporting investigations and prosecutions of war crimes around the world. The foundation has supported the work of organisations such as the International Criminal Court and the Commission for International Justice and Accountability.
Education: The CFJ believes that education is key to promoting justice and human rights, and works to provide educational opportunities to underserved communities around the world. The foundation has partnered with organisations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, to provide resources and support to schools and educators.
... Turns out that there’s more to George than just good coffee.