"Ken Kragen is a phenomenon. I've worked with him in his role as an entertainment mogul and also as a humanitarian. He knows everyone and knows how to get things accomplished." - Jane Pauley, NBC
"USA For Africa" affected millions of lives and inspired other similar efforts by dozens of others. With an outstanding board headed by Kragen "USA For Africa" carefully allocated its resources to do the maximum good. They rarely gave out cash but instead bought needed supplies of food, medicine and even items such as repair parts for trucks for organizations and individuals that had demonstrated an ability to make a real impact on peoples lives.
"We Are The World" remains a textbook example of how to do it right and make a real difference for people and the song still inspires those who seek to improve the world around them. For these efforts Ken Kragen received the prestige’s United Nations Peace Medal among dozens of other honors.
When Harry Belafonte telephoned Ken Kragen just before Christmas in 1984 he had no idea what he was setting in motion. Belafonte wanted Kragen to organize a concert to raise money to fight starvation in Africa. Kragen quickly turned this idea into one of the most significant humanitarian events of the 20th century.
Working day and night Kragen put together 45 of the most important recording artists in the world, got Quincy Jones to produce and Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson to write the timeless anthem, "We Are The World."
Ken Kragen did all this in just 28 days but his work was far from over. The "We Are The World" single and album quickly raised millions of dollars ($64 million in total) and Kragen put together a spectacularly efficient and effective organization called "USA For Africa" to distribute the money. With administrative overhead of only 7% (an almost unprecedented low figure) the charity continues to do good work in Africa and elsewhere.
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