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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.

By Scott S. Smith

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

In November 1999, Parks hit the jackpot after taking his FosterCity, California-based grocery company, Webvan, public-and isnow in the process of giving away 30 percent of his good fortune inthe form of stock, primarily to those who had helped him and theneedy he met along the way. Having grown up in a single-parent homein a low-income area of east Oakland, California, Parks workedextraordinarily hard from age 11, doing everything from sweepingfloors to owning a hair salon at 21 (which left him $55,000 indebt). In 1993, Starbucks hired him to open 20 outlets, and hediscovered stock options. Then, in 1996, he became one of thefounding members of Webvan. Parks left last year to pursue otherventures, including restaurant consulting. He spoke with usrecently about his philosophy of philanthropy in a time ofunprecedented wealth:

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