The wealthiest men of the world are coming together in a charitable way. Over 30 billionaires have decided to give at least 50 percent of their fortune to charities. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have convinced 34 more billionaires to sign onto their “Giving Pledge” initiative, promising to give away at least half their money to charity. The list includes the likes of Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, Barry Diller, Larry Ellison, and T. Boone Pickens, Reuters reports. “I am enthusiastically taking the Giving Pledge,” Bloomberg said in a letter. “Nearly all of my net worth will be given away in the years ahead.”
Among the billionaires joining the campaign are New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entertainment executive Barry Diller, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens, media mogul Ted Turner, banker David Rockefeller and investor Ronald Perelman. They wanted to persuade hundreds of U.S. billionaires to give away most of their fortune during their lifetime or after their death and to publicly state their intention with a letter of explanation.
Mr. Buffett pledged in 2006 to give away 99 per cent of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and family charities. Bill and Melinda Gates have so far given more than $28-billion (U.S.) of their fortune to their foundation.
Since the foundation began in 1994, it has given away more than $22-billion for health improvements in poor countries and to improve access for Americans to opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Mr. Gates was ranked the second-richest man in the world by Forbes magazine this year with $53-billion, while Buffett came in at No. 3 with $47-billion. Forbes said the United States is home to 403 billionaires, the most in the world.