Johnny Carson's $156 million gift

Late entertainer gifts foundation from personal trust funds

Five years after Johnny Carson's death, the iconic entertainer is still giving selflessly via his the John W. Carson Foundation, reveals website the Smoking Gun, which learned of the philanthropy from a tax return filed three months ago by the charitable organization. The iconic "Tonight Show" host set up the foundation in 1988, years before his passing in January 2005, and since then the charity has continued to receive a reported $156 million from a personal trust established by Carson.

IRS tax returns filed in May and covering the fiscal year through June 2010, show the John W. Carson Foundation was gifted with $35.2 million in cash and $121.2 million in securities and royalty rights from the John W. Carson Trust. These and other donations have been established to support a variety of charitable and human services organizations, including Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and Planned Parenthood.