American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist Warren Buffett, on Monday, donated close to $ 3.2 billion of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc., stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four other family charities. This is the biggest contribution made by the successful investor entrepreneur.
The 86 year old Oracle of Ohama has been making yearly donations to five charities for the past 12 years and has approximately given $27.54 billion in donations since 2006. In his 12th annual donation, he converted 12,500of his class A shares into about 18.8 million class B shares, valued at $170.25 each as of Monday’s market close.
In 2010, Warren Buffett along with Bill Gates launched an initiative called ‘The Giving Pledge’ for billionaires to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. As of 2017, 170 billionaires including the late David Rockefeller and Mark Zuckerberg have pledged to donate at least half of their fortunes to charity.
Prior to the donation, Buffett’s net worth was $76.3 billion. He remained the world’s fourth richest man, despite his net worth dropping to $73.1 billion. He still holds a 17% stake in Berkshire after donating 40% of his holdings till date.
The 4 other family charities which receive yearly donations from Buffett are Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched in 2000, focuses on improving health, reducing poverty and aiding education. The foundation will receive $ 2.4 billion from the recent donation. Reflecting on Buffett’s desire that his money is spent, these charities sell the Berkshire shares, to finance their activities.
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