Warren Buffett donates $2.6 billion to charities

July 10, 2013

Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most benevolent billionaires, just keeps on giving. This time he has donated approximately $2.6 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and four other charities.

In accordance with his annual charitable pledge, Berkshire Hathaway announced Monday that its chairman and CEO gave away 22,870,529 shares of his class B common stock in the company, which were trading at about $115 per share Monday.

According to his filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Buffett converted 14, 000 class A shares to 21 million class B shares July 5 to complete the donation. He is now worth slightly more than $59 billion, despite the gift, up from $53.5 billion in March, due to the rising value of Berkshire Hathaway shares.

The Gates Foundation, which largely fixates on enhancing global health care, improving U.S. education opportunities and ending world poverty, received the majority of the donation — 17,458,431 shares amounting to about $2 billion.

Splitting the rest of the gift were the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named in honor of his late wife; and his children’s charities, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, his daughter Susan’s Sherwood Foundation and his son Peter’s NoVo Foundation.

Buffett, who has pledged to give away 99% of his fortune, gave $1.5 billion to the Gates Foundation in July 2012, and two months later pledged $3 billion of stock to his children’s foundations. Forbes calculates that Buffett has now donated at least $11.5 billion in shares of Berkshire Hathaway to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The legendary investor’s latest donation puts his lifetime giving at nearly $20 billion, making him the second most generous person on the planet, below his good friend Bill Gates, whose given away $28 billion.

Buffett, the second-richest American and the fourth-richest global billionaire on Forbes’ lists, has been a leading advocate for philanthropy among the wealthy. Buffet and Gates launched the The Giving Pledge in 2010, encouraging the world’s wealthy to commit to donating 50% or more of their fortunes to philanthropy during their lifetime or after they die.

Gates and Buffett are among 23 billionaires that have donated $1 billion or more in their lifetime.

To recognize Buffet’s impressive track record in giving, fellow philanthropist and iconic U2 front man Bono serenaded the Omaha Oracle to the tune of  ”Home on the Range” at the Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy in June. Buffett received the inaugural Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy at the event.


Source: Forbes.com  |  Image: Huffington Post

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