GENTLEMEN GIVE BACK: In his earlier years, Robin Thicke was a selfish young man who cared only about his own goals, the musician freely admitted at the GQ Gentlemen’s Ball at the IAC Building in New York on Wednesday. But the love of a good woman — actress Paula Patton, in this case — steered him toward a more generous outlook on life. “My wife and I met when we were just teenagers, and she’s had an enormous impact on my life,” said the “Blurred Lines” singer. “She reminded me there were another five billion people in the world that needed help and needed love and needed guidance and needed education.”

Thicke was honored at the event for his support of Doctors Without Borders. Warby Parker cofounder Neil Blumenthal presented an award to Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise, which has built 153 schools in underprivileged areas. Braun attributed his values and drive to his parents. “The two things they instilled in my siblings and I were ambition and integrity, and I think those are the hallmarks of a gentleman,” he observed. (Braun’s siblings include Scooter Braun, the music impresario who manages Justin Bieber, and two adoptive brothers from Mozambique.)

This story first appeared in the October 28, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Also honored were artist Romero Britto, second-grade teacher Jed Dearybury, FoodCorps cofounder Curt Ellis and Josh Zabar, a partner at Summit, a community organization that fosters entrepreneurship.

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