Zuckerberg Stuns the World with a 45 Billion Dollar Gift

Amber Ecelbarger, Sports Editor

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, and his wife Priscilla Chan share that they plan to donate a whopping 99% of their Facebook stock, which is valued around 45 billion dollars, to charity. This is one of the largest philanthropic gifts ever, topping donations made by Buffett (owner of Berkshire Hathaway) as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (owners of Microsoft). At only a mere 31 years of age, Zuckerberg’s gift is even more remarkable.

Zuckerberg and Chan announced their donation in a very eccentric way; they wrote a letter to their newly born daughter Max. In it the two express how they hope she will be able to grow up in a world better than their own and how they plan to do everything in their power in order to make this possible. In the letter they write, “We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.” Zuckerberg and Chan also describe how they hope Max’s generation will focus on two things which they say to be “advancing human potential and promoting equality.”

Just a few days prior to the release of their letter, Zuckerberg teamed with Gates and others to promote clean-energy and climate research. We’ve seen a trend over the past years as more and more billionaires, including Judy Faulkner and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, share how they plan to donate much of their fortunes to charity.
The letter, although inspiring for its incredible generosity, is also inspiring for its optimistic outlook on future generations to come. Zuckerberg and Chan discuss improvements in health care as well as schools. “Your generation will set goals for what you want to become — like an engineer, health worker, writer or community leader. You’ll have technology that understands how you learn best and where you need to focus. You’ll advance quickly in subjects that interest you most, and get as much help as you need in your most challenging areas.” The world is thankful for such generosity.