- Hollywood actor
- Outspoken environmentalist
- Supporter and funder of Democrat candidates and agendas
Born in Los Angeles on November 11, 1974, Leonardo DiCaprio is an A-List Hollywood actor. For details about his professional career, click here.
Over the years, DiCaprio has cultivated a reputation as an outspoken environmentalist who believes that the carbon emissions associated with human industrial activity contribute heavily to global warming and its allegedly catastrophic ramifications. In 1998 he established an eponymous charitable philanthropy, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, “dedicated to protecting Earth’s last wild places and fostering a harmonious relationship between humanity and the natural world.”
In 2004 DiCaprio supported John Kerry’s presidential campaign, lauding his “years of leadership working to protect our oceans.” The actor called it “the most important election of my lifetime” and claimed that George W. Bush made “disastrous choices when it comes to the environment.”
In 2007 DiCaprio produced and narrated The 11th Hour, a documentary film about the grave threat posed by anthropogenic climate change. “Global warming is not only the number one environmental challenge we face today,” the actor said in a statement, “but one of the most important issues facing all of humanity.” “In the U.S. we are the ones who should be setting an example,” he added. “We are the largest democracy in the world—and also the largest polluters. If we don’t take any action, then how can anyone else be expected to?”
DiCaprio greatly admired the policies and agendas—not least, those related to the environment and energy production—of Barack Obama. When Obama was elected president in 2008, DiCaprio said, “I couldn’t be more proud of my country right now, proud to be an American, and I think the entire world was looking for a transition like this.” On Obama’s Inauguration Day—January 20, 2009—DiCaprio spoke at the celebratory Neighborhood Ball in Washington.
On September 21, 2014, DiCaprio, accompanied by former Vice President Al Gore, participated in a “People’s Climate March” in New York City, where he demanded that global leaders take action to address the warming crisis.
Two days later, DiCaprio addressed a climate summit at the United Nations, where Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the actor as a “UN Messenger of Peace,” a “new voice for climate advocacy,” and a man whose “global stardom is the perfect match for this global challenge.” In his speech, DiCaprio asserted that a host of “new and undeniable climate events”—e.g., intensifying droughts, “warming and acidifying” oceans, “increased temperatures,” and “the West Antarctic and Greenland ice-sheets melting at unprecedented rates”—were evidence that if “industries and governments around the world” failed to take “decisive, large-scale action,” all of humanity “will surely perish.” “We need to put a pricetag on carbon emissions,” he explained, “and eliminate government subsidies for coal, gas, and oil companies.” In short, it was time to “end the free ride that industrial polluters have been given in the name of a free-market economy.”
In 2014 as well, DiCaprio funded the production of a series of short eco-documentaries urging the abandonment of fossil fuels, the enactment of carbon taxes, and an increased reliance on solar- and wind-generated power. For additional information on one of these films, click here.
In a December 2015 interview, DiCaprio cited Naomi Klein as “one of the most powerful voices in the climate movement”; lamented that “we’ve locked ourselves, through capitalism, into an addiction to oil that’s incredibly hard to reverse”; lauded the work of Divest Invest, an organization that represents “a fantastic way you as an individual can say, ‘I do not want to have investments in oil, coal, or gas’”; and praised Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as “pretty inspiring” due to what he had said “about the environment [and] climate change” at a recent political debate.
Notwithstanding his condemnation of fossil fuels and carbon emissions, DiCaprio in 2012 paid $250,000 to reserve for himself a flight into outer space aboard the billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket ship, which is powered by fossil fuel. Moreover, for many years DiCaprio has traveled extensively via gas-guzzling private jets and has socialized with people whose proverbial “carbon footprints” are among the world’s largest. For some examples, click here.
In early August 2016, DiCaprio announced that he was planning to host a $33,400-per-person fundraiser in his home for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. Slated for August 23, the event was dubbed “Conversations with Hillary.” In accordance with campaign-finance maximums, the first $2,700 from each ticket would go directly to the Clinton campaign, while the rest would go to the broader Democratic Party.
In July 2016 DiCaprio’s name was linked to a Justice Department investigation into a massive money-laundering scheme whose purpose had been to enrich top-level officials of 1MBD, a wealth fund controlled by the government of Malaysia. For details, click here.
DiCaprio today has a net worth of $220 million and owns at least four lavish homes: two apartments in New York City and mansions in Hollywood and Palm Springs. In 2013 he sold a beachside estate in Malibu for $17.35 million.
For additional information on Leonardo DiCaprio, click here.