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He's Giving It Away!

Think philanthropy is a dotcom <i>don't</i>? Anthony Parks would like a word with you.

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This story appears in the September 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Anthony D. Parks has been receiving a lot of attention lately. Sure, he's a dotcom multimillionaire-but this Internet success story never let greed get in the way of his lifelong mission to give back.

In November 1999, Parks hit the jackpot after taking his Foster City, California-based grocery company, Webvan, public-and is now in the process of giving away 30 percent of his good fortune in the form of stock, primarily to those who had helped him and the needy he met along the way. Having grown up in a single-parent home in a low-income area of east Oakland, California, Parks worked extraordinarily hard from age 11, doing everything from sweeping floors to owning a hair salon at 21 (which left him $55,000 in debt). In 1993, Starbucks hired him to open 20 outlets, and he discovered stock options. Then, in 1996, he became one of the founding members of Webvan. Parks left last year to pursue other ventures, including restaurant consulting. He spoke with us recently about his philosophy of philanthropy in a time of unprecedented wealth:

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