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Facebook’s Zuckerberg to Give 99% of Company Stock to Charity

© AP Photo / Peter BarrerasPriscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg arrive at the 2nd Annual Breakthrough Prize Award Ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif.
Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg arrive at the 2nd Annual Breakthrough Prize Award Ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. - Sputnik International
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The co-founder of social media goliath Facebook has announced that he and his wife plan to donate 99% of their company shares to charity – shares that are currently worth roughly $45 billion.

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Already a prominent philanthropist, Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, will give 99% of their fortune to charity throughout the course of their lives. That money will be spent through a new charitable organization to be founded by the couple.

"As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the word to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation," he wrote in a letter posted to Facebook, commemorating the birth of their first child, a daughter named Max.

"We will give 99% of our Facebook shares – currently about $45 billion – during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others."

According to the letter, the Initiative will focus primarily on personalized learning, building communities, and curing disease.

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Earlier this week, Zuckerberg was also among the co-signers of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, organized by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. That group plans to work toward the promotion of clean energy.

Zuckerberg and Dr. Chan have also made large contributions to provide high-speed Internet access for classrooms, as well as a $25 million donation to the US Centers for Disease Control to help combat Ebola.

According to Forbes, Zuckerberg is the 16th richest person in the world. Warren Buffett, worth an estimated $72.7 billion has also pledged to donate 99% of his wealth after his death, while the world’ richest man, Bill Gates, has said he plans to give 95% of his fortune to his own charitable foundation.

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