Richard Gere is internationally known as both a leading film actor and as an involved and dedicated social activist and philanthropist. For more than 25 years, he has used his success and resources to bring attention to a number of important global issues.
Mr. Gere is committed to the ongoing search for a cure for AIDS, and is especially concerned about the spread of AIDS in India and the lack of care facilities there for people living with HIV/AIDS. Mr. Gere has worked closely with the Naz Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in New Delhi. He helped the Foundation establish The AIDS Care Home, the first residential facility in India dedicated to serving women and orphaned children with AIDS, and for the past few years, he has helped the Foundation to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and provide support to AIDS patients. Mr. Gere is also engaged in a broader effort to help galvanize action to address the AIDS epidemic in India. He established the Delhi-based Gere Foundation India Trust in 1999 to support various humanitarian programs in India. The Trust recently collaborated with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and Parmeshwar Godrej to produce a landmark AIDS awareness and fund-raising event in Mumbai, India. Mr. Gere is also helping to launch a coalition of government, business, entertainment, and NGO leaders to fight the AIDS epidemic in India.
Mr. Gere is deeply committed to protecting the human rights of the Tibetan people. Since 1995, he has served as the Board Chairman of the International Campaign for Tibet. To provide information on the Tibetan crisis, he has addressed the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the U.S. House of Representatives, the European Parliament, and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva. In 1999, Mr. Gere co-sponsored the historic visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to New York City, and he is a co-sponsor of the upcoming New York visit of His Holiness in September 2003.
Mr. Gere is a longtime supporter of other HIV/AIDS, humanitarian aid, human rights, and cultural preservation organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Survival International, among others. Most recently, he established the Initiatives Foundation in 2002 to raise funds and funnel resources to disadvantaged communities worldwide. Mr. Gere has participated in several fund-raising events for amfAR and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and hosted the 1992 World AIDS Day event at the United Nations. He has received the Harvard AIDS Institute’s AIDS Leadership Award, the Media Spotlight Award for Leadership from Amnesty International, and the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award.
Since his film career began in 1975, Mr. Gere has starred in over 30 movies. His best-known films include An Officer and a Gentleman, Days of Heaven, American Gigolo, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Pretty Woman, and Primal Fear. He is currently starring in Chicago, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, and recently starred in Unfaithful. Mr. Gere attended the University of Massachusetts where he was a philosophy and theater major.