Many 1970s music fans will remember folksinger Harry Chapin for hits like “Taxi” and “Cats in the Cradle.” During a tremendous career cut short by his death in an auto accident, Chapin released ten albums and toured throughout the world.
But shortly after releasing his first hit album, Chapin decided to use his musical gift and fame to combat world hunger. In 1974, he founded WHY (World Hunger Year), an organization that still exists almost twenty years after his death. He set out to educate people on the issues of world hunger and to raise money to help solve the problem.
Throughout the remainder of his career, Chapin donated much of the proceeds from his tours and record and merchandise sales to this and other charities aimed at fighting hunger. He helped found and fund other hunger charities, including Hungerthon and Long Island Cares.
In 1986, Chapin was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for his tremendous work. A memorial fund started at his death to continue his work has raised more than $5 million for a variety of social causes that were close to his heart.