Mark Zuckerberg Ups the Philanthropic Ante, Pledges the Bulk of His Billions

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Unimpeachable, FTW! Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Giving away $100 million in philanthropy isn't cool. You know what's cool? Giving away half of your billions in philanthropy. Mark Zuckerberg has signed on to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge, which doesn't give an exact amount but asks signatories to pledge the majority of their wealth. Forbes's latest estimate pegs Zuckerberg's net worth at $6.9 billion, although that figure, which is still theoretical since the company hasn't gone public, has likely gone up since Facebook's valuation hit $50 billion in the secondary market. Earlier this year, when Zuckerberg donated $100 million to Newark's public-school system, it was hard not to notice the timing (a week before The Social Network premiere) or the venue (Oprah's couch), despite the fact that these types of donations need to be in the works for a while. This time around, Facebook's recent redesign went through without a fuss, and there's no such cynicism circling the pledge, except maybe from the fifteen other billionaires, including AOL co-founder Steve Case, investor Carl Icahn, and ex-junk-bond king Michael Milken, who had their enormous nontheoretical donations overshadowed by a 26-year-old. Lest the skepticism rear its head again with Milken, who's been heavily involved in philanthropy since the eighties, so much so that it makes Lloyd Blankfein look bad.

16 Tycoons Agree to Give Away Fortunes [WSJ]