The Real Reason We Never Hear About Brad Pitt's Brother

Ever since his breakout role as a hunky hitchhiker in Thelma & Louise (1991), the public has gotten a play-by-play of actor Brad Pitt's on-screen and off-screen roles. From his marriage to Jennifer Aniston to his metamorphoses into Brangelina, the public has devoured every morsel of gossip. As his messy divorce from Angelina Jolie and custody battle unfolds, we suspect fans could probably rattle off the coordinates of each kiddos' unique birth locale, but they might be harder-pressed to come up with any details about Pitt's siblings. His brother, Douglas Mitchell Pitt, in particular, has led an interesting life away from the spotlight, yet he's rarely heard from. Here's why.

He lives a quiet life outside of the limelight

Doug, who is a couple years younger than Brad, still lives in the state of Missouri, where he was born (Brad was born in Oklahoma before his parents relocated to the Midwest and added Doug and their sister, Julie, to the brood). He resides there with his wife of a quarter century, Lisa, and their three children: son Landon and daughters Sydney and Reagan. He's been characterized in the press by a friend as "not a real outgoing guy" who might be "seen as distant, disinterested, stand-offish" to those who might not know him, but who has a really strong moral compass and will take action when duty calls.

He's very generous with his time and energy

Doug ran his own technology company for more than two decades before selling it to pursue his philanthropic interests, such as working as the first Goodwill Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania, an appointment he was given in 2010 by President Jakaya Kikwete after years of working with the nation to provide local citizens clean water access.

In 2012, Doug wasfeatured on TEDx Talks to discuss his decades of relief work in Africa through World Serve International and Africa 6000 International and provide insight into how the technological business community can and does help develop solutions for Africa's resource and access needs, such as the fresh water crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition to his international work, he's also been active on a local level. Doug founded the organization Care to Learn in 2008 to help Missouri students in need receive tools and supplies to help them thrive.

According to News Leader, he first began the organization after finding out that local school children were suffering without even the barest necessities and said he was "absolutely shocked and truly a little bit embarrassed" to have not realized that so many went without in his community, like one elementary schoolboy who was picked on at school for having to wear his mother's jeans. His organization has since provided hundreds of thousands of items to students in need.

Of course, everyone knows that Brad has also flexed some charitable muscle, especially after joining forces with Jolie, but Doug's works are much less likely to land him on the cover of mainstream magazines, even if he is an A-lister when it comes to good deeds.

He tried acting once

In 2012, Doug was hired by Virgin Mobile Australia to star in a cheeky commercial series as the "second most famous Pitt in his family." The ads, which Doug sought out Brad's blessing to do "out of respect," showcased his status as a "regular guy" who gets excited about listening to '70s rock in his man cave, boasts about the functionality of his fax machine, hand-crafts birdhouses in his spare time, and drives a mini-van.

He appeared on NOVA FM after the commercial aired and said, "This is by far the first time I've ever stepped foot near this arena...it's been a blast." However, he added that the job was "hard" and doing the commercials gave him a newfound respect for his brother's occupation. He explained that he called Brad after it was done and said, "'Props man, this thing's hard!' It's the truth. They say 'action,' [and] all of a sudden everybody's staring at you, and it's like 'uhhhh.' I don't do this. Gotta remember your lines, and oh yeah, be funny."

He doesn't like to comment on Brad

Whereas a lot of celebrity siblings might be tempted to spill some juicy tidbits about their famous family member for the sake of money or their own shot at 15 minutes of fame, Doug is not a fan of talking about his brother's personal life with the media or the people he encounters in his everyday life.

"I appreciate the interest [in Brad]. I understand why people want to ask about him," he told NOVA FM. "But I've answered the same question for 25 years. And so, you do go a little bit on autopilot...Again, I appreciate the interest. I'm really proud of him."

When news of Brad's split from Jolie broke in September 2016, those usual questions started to change and intensify. Doug was still not gung-ho about discussing his brother's personal life, even though it meant he might have the opportunity to defend Brad from some of the very public accusations being published about his treatment of his children. Doug told the Springfield News-Leader, "I've been hanging up on reporters all morning...I'm sorry. I'm just not feeling this. I don't know if it's even still relevant tomorrow, but let me sleep on it. Right now, I'm going to hang out on the sidelines." When asked about the supposedly scandalous details surrounding the breakup, Doug did advise one prying reporter to "just remember, they're the tabloids."

He's very loyal to his hometown audience

Although he did do a pseudo-celebrity tour Down Under after his big commercial aired, and he's traveled to Africa on a number of occasions to conduct his charity work, Doug has remained very loyal to his hometown and seemingly prefers to keep his exposure limited to the local scene. He is frequently seen and quoted among local news sites, especially when it comes to the subject of his aide efforts, but he doesn't seek a national audience as often, possibly because when he does, the attention inevitably turns to the subject of his famous brother. Case in point: when he spoke to Entertainment Tonight in 2012 about his humanitarian efforts abroad, the focus shifted quickly to the seemingly more important matter of the then-impending Brangelina wedding.

He once had a photographer stalk his family

Even though Doug Pitt has tried to steer clear of the fish bowl of fame that has shrouded his brother for so many years, he's still felt the sting of unwanted attention as a result of his tenuous connection to Tinseltown. He told News Leader that when his then-nine-year-old daughter was home alone, she was frightened to see a photographer outside of their home rifling through the mailbox and called her father. He then rushed home and confronted the man by punching him in the face. "At that time I had nothing on my brain but my daughter," he explained. "There are some things in the heat of the moment when you don't think things through as best you can ... What the paparazzi have to realize is that Brad has to play by the rules, but I don't. I am not worried about bad press or good press. I am worried about protecting my family."

After that incident, he found a new way of dealing with unwanted photographers that might surround him. He told St. Louis magazine he started taking togiving the paparazzi a taste of their own medicine. "I was 'no comment' for years [but] now, when I get calls from the paparazzi, I make up my own stories just to see if they'll get into print, and I've started taking photographs of them, and they don't like it. I just started that recently. Doing things more on my terms."

He's an avid biker

Along with his professional and charity work, Doug Pitt also has a passion for recreational activities, biking in particular. In his off-time, he's known to hop on his mountain bike and hit the trails, sometimes even venturing to high-profile destinations. And, of course, he's also been able to work that medium into something done for the greater good as well.

In 2013, he raised $250,000 for his clean water campaign at World Serve International by biking up Mr. Kilimanjaro, with special permission from the government given to him because of the fact that it was a fundraising effort. "Everything I do is a fundraiser," he told Red Bull of his accomplishment. "My focus is usually Africa but in having done Kilimanjaro which is one of the 7 Summits of the World, we are exploring the other six and seeing if even portions could be ridden."

He stays busy with his charity work

If it seems like Doug Pitt's name is attached to a lot of charitable projects, that's because he has an incredible work ethic. As he told the Springfield Business Journal, "I want something going on all the time. I don't like downtime." Part of the reason why he's so good about getting out there with his hands-on approach to fundraising and acting on behalf of the organizations he's involved in is that he's seen the real impact that they have on peoples' lives. "I know the difference a well makes the second you dig it," he explained. "Overnight, families are transformed."

He went to the Brangelina wedding (but his wife did not)

The wedding of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2014 was a very private affair, but of the 22 people that were invited to attend, Doug Pitt was one of them ... but his family didn't get to go. The pair were wed in the Ch√Ęteau Miraval in Provence, and Doug, his sister, and parents were all guests, but his wife was not asked to join the group for the big day, much to her chagrin. According to St. Louis magazine, she was audibly peeved by the news she couldn't attend the illustrious affair, and said that Doug has to live "under the Brad cloud," which means "don't really ever go out in your underwear. You don't wear black socks," and other strange rules of appearance.

He's deeply religious

Although Brad Pitt has identified himself as an atheist in response to his religious and strict upbringing, Doug Pitt has maintained his family's evangelical leanings. As he explained to St. Louis magazine, he credits his faith with keeping his marriage strong for so many decades. "I think having the Lord first in your life takes away that 'me' factor. It's us," he said.

The Pitt family's political disconnect has become public news in the past, when their mother Jane Pitt wrote an op-ed in favor of electing Mitt Romney over Barack Obama because of the latter's support for same-sex marriage. The post made headlines because of the open support Brad Pitt himself had expressed for gay marriage rights, and Doug Pitt came to her defense on the issue, saying, "Moms and dads and kids agree to disagree all over the world, so why would our family be any different?... There can be healthy discussion when people disagree with you, and I think there should be. The bad thing is when it turns into venom and negativity and we don't have that in our family. It's open discussion, we can learn from each other ... maybe you learn something."

He still gets some insight into the fame game

Even though Pitt has done his best to lead a relatively normal life, his brotherly connection has still brought him into the Hollywood sphere from time to time, for better and for worse. According to News Leader, the perks have included a meet-and-greet with Julia Roberts, Robert Redford, and other celebs as well as a trip to the premiere of A River Runs Through It. "I get to peer into another world that I would never get into, then I have the option to leave," he explained. "But [Brad] does not."

The downside, though, is that he's constantly hit up for help getting into that world, like being asked an endless barrage of questions about Brad by the media and being sent scripts. "I can tell what they are by the weight. They go straight into the trash," he said.

He's not competitive with Brad

Although people know Brad Pitt's name across the globe, and he makes millions of dollars for what he does, Doug Pitt doesn't consider himself to be competitive with his brother. "It's just that Brad makes a living as an actor. That's all it is," he told News Leader. "Brad casts a very big shadow. I made some decisions early on to just do what I do on my terms. I'm not sure you can even compete with where he is at. I am thrilled that I have had success in the business realm, the family realm and the humanitarian realm."