Angelina Jolie Is Seriously Inspirational
Angelina Jolie started out as a bit of a Hollywood bad girl, but she's since made a name for herself as a humanitarian and an inspirational figure around the world. She became the youngest person ever to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award last year, though it wasn't the first time Angelina's work has been recognized, with her involvement with the UNHCR and other philanthropic duties among the many ways she makes her mark on the world. Read on for more powerful moments from Angelina.
In August 2001, Angelina Jolie was named a UNHCR goodwill ambassador for refugees. She said of the position, "We cannot close ourselves off to information and ignore the fact that millions of people are out there suffering. I honestly want to help. I don't believe I feel differently from other people. I think we all want justice and equality, a chance for a life with meaning. All of us would like to believe that if we were in a bad situation someone would help us."
Angelina Jolie responded to the October 2012 shooting of Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls, in a moving article that explained how she discussed the issue with her children. Angelina wrote, "Malala is proof that it only takes the voice of one brave person to inspire countless men, women, and children. In classrooms and at kitchen tables around the world, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters are praying for Malala's swift recovery and committing themselves to carry her torch."
In response to the devastating tornadoes that swept through Missouri in May 2011, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt donated $500,000 to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks to support rebuilding efforts in the area.
In April 2013, Angelina Jolie attended the Women in the World Summit in NYC to once again show her support for Malala Yousafzai. In addition, she donated $200,000 to the Malala Fund, a charity that was set up by Vital Voices to encourage girls' education.
Angelina Jolie shared intimate moments at her home in France in the November 2008 issue of W magazine. Brad Pitt shot the beautiful photos, one of which featured Angelina breastfeeding one of her newborn twins.
Angelina Jolie put her weight behind Ewan McGregor and The Impossible in November 2012, when she hosted a special screening of the movie in London. Angelina praised the project, saying, "The true testament of any film is what you walk away with, and I think in this film you walk away with more empathy, with a greater sense of connection to your fellow man, and you want to run home and hug your kids, and tell the people you love that you love them. There is no greater message and this is an extraordinary film."
In April 2012, Angelina Jolie was promoted to special envoy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees after serving as a goodwill ambassador to the UNHCR for more than 10 years.
In honor of her son Maddox, Angelina Jolie founded the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation in 2003 to support conservation in his native Cambodia.
Angelina Jolie took on a painful and complex subject for her directorial debut, which she filmed in 2010. In the Land of Blood and Honey followed the story of the Bosnian War and the brutal crimes against women that took place during the conflict.
Angelina Jolie adopted her first child, Maddox, from Cambodia in 2002 after filming Tomb Raider there in 2000. She said, "For me, becoming a parent changed everything. My priorities straightened out. My life is all different."
In February 2012, Angelina Jolie was honored for her work on In the Land of Blood and Honey at the Cinema for Peace gala. She spoke of the project and her many philanthropic efforts: "Without the balance of doing things that actually matter in the world — and being part of the real world — then I would have been left in a bubble. That would have felt very empty and I probably would have just had a very shallow, horrible life. I have a real view of the real world. I'm very touched and very moved by people and what they overcome. They have always reminded me to just wake up in the morning and be grateful that your children are healthy. Nothing else matters."
Angelina Jolie made headlines in 2008 when she took on the role of a CIA agent in 2010's Salt, replacing Tom Cruise and convincing the studio to adapt the film and rewrite the script to center on a female lead.
Angelina Jolie revealed her brave decision to undergo a preventive double mastectomy in an op-ed article she wrote for The New York Times in May 2013. She shared her story, "I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don't need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer."
In November 2013, Angelina became the youngest person ever to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her achievements in activism, including her work for the United Nations and her film projects related to humanitarian issues. She thanked Brad Pitt and her children in her moving speech, also adding, "I will do as my mother asked and I will do the best I can with this life to be of use."