After high school, the stage and screen actor worked for his late grandfather’s Enterprise Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides affordable housing for low-income people in large cities. Norton now serves as a trustee for the organization in which his grandmother, a co-founder, still serves as vice-president and secretary.
Norton runs the Solar Neighbors Program, an organization that donates a solar system to one of Enterprise Community Partners’ low-income families every time a celebrity purchases one. So far, more than 25 systems have been purchased and donated – by the likes of Owen Wilson, Brad Pitt, Danny DeVito, and Robin Williams.
He gives regular substantial financial contributions to the Grand Canyon Trust (founded by his father), the Wilderness Society, and Earthjustice.
Norton also serves on the board of Friends of the High Line, a group in New York dedicated to saving an old, abandoned railway line in Manhattan that runs a few storeys above street level. His involvement with the project dates back to his early days as an actor, when he would climb the rusting, graffiti-splattered scaffolding to a space overgrown with weeds and wildflowers. Here, surrounded by darkness and shadows, Norton would breathe in the energy of the city, dreaming of stardom.
The actor credits his father as being the motivation behind his environmental awareness: “[The environment] was a longstanding passion of my father,” the 38-year-old actor told the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 2005. “He was a big outdoor enthusiast and he was an attorney by training. He was a federal prosecutor, and when he left that world, he was head of public policy for the Wilderness Society in the ‘80s. All through my growing up, that was his work, his career. He’s been an enormously effective and groundbreaking environmental advocate. My brother and I spent vacations working for the Park Service in the Grand Canyon. My sister is now studying international environmental policy. It’s a part of what we grew up in.”
Norton ran the 2009 New York City Marathon with a team of Maasai warriors and celebrities in support of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, raising over $750,000, much of it donated by fans as a result of an innovative twitter giveaway campaign.
Edward donated a signed official Hulk movie poster and a signed Death to Smoochy DVD to the Seany Foundation.
Find out more about Edward Norton’s charity work here.
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