Wealthy Donate Record Sums Despite the Recession

Even as the economy slipped into recession, America's wealthiest individ­uals were giving record sums to charity.

At least 16 individuals announced gifts of $100-million or more last year, more people than have ever done so in the 12 years that The Chronicle has kept a tally of the biggest charitable commitments announced each year. In 2006, at least 15 people gave that sum, and in 1998, 12 did so.

The total amount of the donations on the 2008 list far outstripped