- Title: USA / FILE: Billionaires pledge fortunes to charity
- Date: 5th August 2010
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (FILE) (REUTERS) NEW YORK STREET SIGN NEW YORK CITY MAYOR BLOOMBERG AT PODIUM VARIOUS OF BLOOMBERG AT PRESS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 20th August 2010 13:00
- Topics: International Relations,People
- Reuters ID: LVA5ZY1YBCWAB8Y7NB0XBLAYZHMJ
- Story Text: Persuaded by the gentle prodding of investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, several dozen U.S. billionaires pledged on Wednesday (August 4) to give away at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity.
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, David Rockefeller and investor Ronald Perelman, according to "The Giving Pledge" website.
Gates and Buffett launched "The Giving Pledge" in June to convince 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.
The full list of billionaires and their letters can be seen at www.thegivingpledge.org.
The Giving Pledge does not accept any money to be held in trust, it simply asks the targeted billionaires to make a moral commitment to give their money away.
Buffett and Gates have been meeting privately with the billionnaires during the past year to secure their commitment.
Buffett pledged in 2006 to bequeath 99 percent of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and family charities. Bill and Melinda Gates have so far given more than $28 billion of 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.
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 of any country.
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