Buffet to give nearly $31 billion to Gates foundation
June 25, 2006
In an interview with Fortune magazine, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett announced he will give nearly $31 billion -- most of his wealth -- to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
To date Mr. Gates has contributed some $30 billion the Foundation, making him the most generous philanthropist the world has ever known. Gates further intends to hand over the most of his remaining fortune by the end of his life.
The value of Mr. Buffet's gift of 10 million shares is currently worth about $30.7 billion based on Friday's market closing price of Berkshire Hathaway stock. Mr. Buffet will also contribute shares to four family nonprofit organizations. In all he will donate about 85% of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to charity.
Mr. Gates, a member of Berkshire Hathaway's board, released a statement thanking Mr. Buffet for his generosity.
The Gates Foundation is particularly active in Africa where it is involved in funding research on malaria, AIDS, and other diseases.
According to the Fortune article, Mr. Buffett's decision to start giving his fortune to charity while he is still alive was driven by the death of his wife, Susan, in 2004. Buffett says that she "would really have stepped on the gas," for charitable giving.
Mr. Gates world's richest man with more than $51 billion. Mr Buffet is second with around $42 billion according to Forbes magazine. Mr. Gates' net worth peaked in 1998 at around $100 billion.
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