When a member of Forbe’s 400 pledges to give most of his wealth away, a ripple effect occurs, prompting other members of the nation’s richest to follow suit. That is what happened when Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg, announced that he and his wife Priscilla Chan would be donating 99% of their total wealth to various charitable organizations in their lifetime.
Most people look at the top 400 and think of what intelligent business people they must be to achieve such successes, and they would be right. However, people don’t always consider how charitable most of the 1% are. Zuckerberg is an epitome of a philanthropist, but there are some other notable members of Forbe’s elite list that deserve mention as well.
The CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett, holds the title of the number 1 top philanthropist, according to Forbes. To date, Buffett has donated over $34 billion, about 28% of his total net worth, so far and does not plan to stop anytime soon. He donates every year to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among many other charitable organizations.
As chairman of the world’s largest private charitable foundation, it is no surprise that Bill Gates ranks as the second most philanthropic person, right behind longtime best friend, Warren Buffett, according to Forbe’s. Bill and his wife Melinda, along with Buffett, started The Giving Pledge in 2010, committing billionaires who sign it to give away more than half of their worth. Gates has lived up to this commitment and is still very involved in the foundation.
Oprah Winfrey’s claim to fame may have been sparked through her daytime talk show, but the television star quickly became one of the most popular ‘self-made’ billionaires. With this fortune, Winfrey has not only donated over $400 million to various charitable causes, but she has also created the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Winfrey primarily focuses her philanthropic contributions to organizations that aid women and children.