jonathan goldsmithI always say it: anyone can be a philanthropist.

And today I’m writing about a clever ad campaign, which led to stardom for its spokesman and now a path to becoming a recognized philanthropist

If you recall the Dos Equis beer advertising campaign the “Most Interesting Man in the World,” then you should remember its spokesman, Jonathan Goldsmith. For eight years, Goldsmith had madcap adventures and offered the world sharp lines akin to James Bond or Ernest Hemingway. Some great lines were:

  • “He lives vicariously through himself.”
  • “If opportunity knocks, and he’s not at home, opportunity waits.”
  • “Once he ran a marathon because it was ‘on the way.'”
  • “Presidents take his birthday off.”

Goldsmith who’s 77 years-old wondered how he could top having the opportunity of having played the most interesting man the world has ever known. It didn’t take long for him to realize that there was life after the ad campaign. His face is known the world over and with this type of recognition, he realized he had a platform to help good causes.

His next act would be to help in philanthropy.

Goldsmith lives in Vermont. According to a Fast Company article, Goldsmith has lent his famous face to the following during the years of the ad campaign and since the ad’s conclusion:

  • Participated in a PSA for Make-A-Wish in Vermont.
  • Given honorariums at local schools.
  • Given motivational speeches to poker players, Harvard alums, no-kill animal rescue groups and hunger relief organizations.
  • Created an online commercial benefiting Morris Animal Foundation as he critiques a cover-dog contest for Orvis. That ad raised $1 million for cancer research for dogs.

Goldsmith’s hope is that charities will continue to call the original Most Interesting Man in the World, (this past fall another actor took over the role).

As Goldsmith said, “Your legacy is determined by what you do today. So many people just take up space, just live that quiet life of desperation. It’s more my point of view that’s a pretty…boring way to live. Make a difference, leave something behind. I feel like I’m a very lucky guy. To not do that would be sinful.”


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Grip & Rip Leadership for Social Impact” (Free Digital Download)

© 2017 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.