Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg pledges $45 billion to charity

Max Chan Zuckerberg is held by her parents, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg. Picture: AP

Max Chan Zuckerberg is held by her parents, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg. Picture: AP

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FACEBOOK boss Mark Zuckerberg and his wife said they will devote nearly all their wealth – roughly $45 billion (£30bn) – to solving the world’s problems in celebration of their new baby daughter, Max.

Zuckerberg’s wife, Priscilla Chan, gave birth to a 7lb 8oz daughter last week. the couple did not announce the news until Tuesday, when Zuckerberg posted it on Facebook.

In the same post, Zuckerberg said he and Chan will, over time, commit 99 per cent of their Facebook stockholdings to such causes as fighting disease, improving education and “building strong communities.” The couple had previously pledged to give away at least half their assets during their lifetime, but had not provided specific details.

They are forming a new organisation, called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, that will pursue those goals through a combination of charitable donations, private investment and promotion of government-policy reform.

“Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today,” the 31-year-old social media mogul and his wife wrote in a letter to their daughter, which they also posted on Facebook.

The announcement stunned the charity world. “It’s incredibly impressive and an enormous commitment that really eclipses anything that we’ve seen,” said Phil Buchanan, president of the nonprofit Center for Effective Philanthropy.

By comparison, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has an endowment of just over $41 billion, which includes wealth donated by the Microsoft ­founder.

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