NY Billionaire Resurrects Celebs Online After "Digital Death" Campaign

By Michael Preston
|  Tuesday, Dec 7, 2010  |  Updated 7:02 AM EDT
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PHOENIX - MARCH 28: Honoree Steward Rahr speaks on stage during Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XV held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on March 28, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)

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It took an angel investor of sorts to bring back to life the digital avatars of a slew of celebrities who sacrificed their online selves for a fundraising effort.

Stewart Rahr, the owner of Kinray, the largest privately owned pharmaceutical distributor in the world, donated $500,000 to help restore the Facebook, Twitter and blog accounts of Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Ryan Seacrest, among others, who participated in Alicia Keys' Keep a Child Alive's "Digital Death" campaign, reports the New York Post.

The celebrities "killed" themselves on social media outlets (meaning no posting or tweeting) until $1 million dollars was raised for the charity, which funds HIV/AIDS relief efforts in Africa and India. The effort was accompanied by a high-profile press campaign that featured posters showing several of the celebs laying in coffins with wording saying, for example, "Kim Kardashian is Dead," with details of how to bring them back to life via donations also explained on the literature.

But according to the Post report, many of the stars became frustrated by the slow pace of donations, so Rahr stepped in with his big money.

A source close to the fundraising effort told the Post that this was "the worst mismanagement of star power I've ever seen in my life."

Selected Reading: NY Post, TMZ, Hollywood Gossip

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