amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Harry Belafonte


Joined the amfAR board in March 2005. Global prominence as civil and human rights advocate, with special focus on the United States and Africa. Participated in amfAR’s “We All Have AIDS” advertising campaign and attended campaign launch on World AIDS Day 2006.

A Harlem birthplace, a childhood in Jamaica, and, years later, a ticket to an American Negro Theatre production pointed Mr. Belafonte towards a career with many firsts that broke down racial barriers. His album Calypso was the first to sell more than a million LPs. His first Broadway appearance won him a Tony. His first television production was the first by a black producer and won him an Emmy. President Kennedy appointed him a cultural advisor for the Peace Corps. His idea for a concert to raise money for the people of Africa led to the very successful “We Are the World” recording, which in turn led to Hands Across America, a benefit for the fight against poverty and hunger in the U.S.

Mr. Belafonte was a close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and an ardent campaigner for the end of apartheid in South Africa and the release of his friend Nelson Mandela. He was named a Kennedy Center honoree for his “lifetime of contributions to the arts and American culture.” President Clinton awarded him a National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States government. He has also been honored by such diverse organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the Boy Scouts of America, City of Hope, Fight for Sight, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Peace Corps, the United States Department of State, and the Urban League.

In 2005, Mr. Belafonte founded the Gathering for Justice, whose mission is to build a movement to end child incarceration while working to eliminate the racial inequities in the criminal justice system. In 2014, he founded the Sankofa Justice & Equity Fund, a nonprofit social justice organization that enables artists to contribute their talents to build awareness of and confront the issues that negatively impact marginalized communities.

Global activist, humanitarian, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Mr. Belafonte has four children (Adrienne, Shari, David, and Gina), eight grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. He lives with his wife, Pamela, in New York City.