Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, on Monday donated roughly $3.17 billion of Berkshire Hathaway Inc stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities, his largest contribution in a more than decade-long plan to give away his fortune.
The billionaire investor's 12th annual donation to the five charities comprised 18.63 million Class "B" shares of Berkshire, valued at $170.25 each as of Monday's market close. Just as in years past, Buffett is also giving hundreds of millions to four charities connected to close family members: the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the charity named for his late wife that focuses on family planning programs and college scholarships, plus each of his three children’s foundations -- the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Sherwood Foundation and the NoVo Foundation -- which are run by Howard, Susan and Peter Buffett, respectively.
Berkshire said Buffett, 86, has made $27.54 billion in donations since 2006 to the five charities, including roughly $21.9 billion to the Gates Foundation.
Since taking control of Berkshire Hathaway in 1965, Buffett has given away more than 40% of his stake in the company, according to Reuters. But even with the new donation, he still owns about 17%.
His net worth dropped from $76.3 billion to $73.1 billion after the gift, but he remains the world’s fourth-wealthiest person, trailing Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates' $89.4 billion, Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos' $84.8 billion, and Spanish retailing magnate Amancio Ortega's $81.8 billion, about $8 billion richer than fifth-place Carlos Slim.
In 2006, Buffett pledged to eventually give away all his shares of Berkshire Hathaway, and along with Gates, has since convinced other billionaires to make similar commitments through their Giving Pledge campaign.
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