Billionaires who Give Back: Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and their 'Giving Pledge'



Right off the top of my head, when asked about influential personalities whom I truly feel serve as role models for societal progress and the betterment of humanity, I think of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett - granted, there are many more people worthy of mentioning in my rather short mental list, therefore I went on to look for a longer one.

The Giving Pledge

Lo and behold - 'The Giving Pledge', an initiative to encourage the wealthiest people in U.S. to commit to giving the majority of their 8 (and above) figure wealth to charity - this is definitely one of the more intriguing list that I've seen - all the individuals on this list have made a conscious and personal commitment to improve the lives of other people and the society that they live in. Perhaps we're able to do something similar in Singapore (it's where I live), we're a rich country characterised by the biggest disparity in wealth among its citizens.

As of 2012, there are currently 69 billionaires on the list -

PAUL G. ALLEN
LAURA AND JOHN ARNOLD
NICOLAS BERGGRUEN
MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG
ELI AND EDYTHE BROAD
WARREN BUFFETT
JEAN AND STEVE CASE
MICHELE CHAN AND PATRICK SOON-SHIONG
LEE AND TOBY COOPERMAN
JOYCE AND BILL CUMMINGS
RAY AND BARBARA DALIO
JOHN PAUL DEJORIA
BARRY DILLER AND DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
ANN AND JOHN DOERR
LARRY ELLISON
CHARLES F. FEENEY
TED FORSTMANN (D. 2011)
PHILLIP AND PATRICIA FROST
BILL AND MELINDA GATES
DAVID AND BARBARA GREEN
JEFF GREENE
HAROLD AND SUE ANN HAMM
LYDA HILL
BARRON HILTON
JON AND KAREN HUNTSMAN
CARL ICAHN
JOAN AND IRWIN JACOBS
GEORGE B. KAISER
VINOD AND NEERU KHOSLA
SIDNEY KIMMEL
RICH AND NANCY KINDER
ELAINE AND KEN LANGONE
GERRY AND MARGUERITE LENFEST
LORRY I. LOKEY
GEORGE LUCAS
DUNCAN AND NANCY MACMILLAN
ALFRED E. MANN
JOE AND RIKA MANSUETO
BERNIE AND BILLI MARCUS
MICHAEL AND LORI MILKEN
GEORGE P. MITCHELL
THOMAS S. MONAGHAN
TASHIA AND JOHN MORGRIDGE
DUSTIN MOSKOVITZ
PIERRE AND PAM OMIDYAR
BERNARD AND BARBRO OSHER
RONALD O. PERELMAN
PETER G. PETERSON
T. BOONE PICKENS
JULIAN H. ROBERTSON, JR.
DAVID ROCKEFELLER
EDWARD W. AND DEEDIE POTTER ROSE
DAVID M. RUBENSTEIN
HERB AND MARION SANDLER
DENNY SANFORD
VICKI AND ROGER SANT
LYNN SCHUSTERMAN
WALTER SCOTT, JR.
TOM AND CINDY SECUNDA
ANNETTE AND HAROLD SIMMONS
JIM AND MARILYN SIMONS
JEFF SKOLL
TOM STEYER AND KAT TAYLOR
JIM AND VIRGINIA STOWERS
TED TURNER
SANFORD AND JOAN WEILL
SHELBY WHITE
CHARLES ZEGAR AND MERRYL SNOW ZEGAR
MARK ZUCKERBERG

What is 'The Giving Pledge'?
The Giving Pledge is a campaign to encourage the wealthiest people in the United States to make a commitment to give most of their money to philanthropic causes. The campaign specifically focuses on billionaires and was made public in 2010 by the two wealthiest people in the United States, billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.


Warren Buffett



Warren Edward Buffett is one of the most successful investors in the world; the business magnate and philanthropist is Forbes's 3rd richest man globally, ranked closely after Carlos Slim Helu (72 year old telecom baron worth $69 billion) and Bill Gates (who's net worth is approximated at $61billion).

Warren Buffett is the primary shareholder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational holding company which started life as a humble cotton mill back in 1888 - the company now owns businesses in insurance, utilities and energy, manufacturing, services and retail. Despite his immense wealth in money and assets, Buffet lives a frugal lifestyle -

"(Warren Buffett) lives a lifestyle that hasn't changed much since before he before he made his billions...
residing in the same house in Omaha, Nebraska, that he bought in 1958 for $31,500. He is well known for his simple tastes, including McDonald's hamburgers and cherry Coke, and his disdain for technology, including computers and luxury cars." - Investopedia.com

What's incredible about Buffet is his genuine approach to philanthropy - he has pledged to donate 99% of his fortune to non profit organisations and social causes - that's almost $43.56 billion in contributions to causes that improve people's lives and increase standards of living.


Bill and Melinda Gates

William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an business tycoon, investor and philanthropist; his wife, Melinda French Gates is a businesswoman and philanthropist, she co-founded and co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an organisation that focuses on addressing issues in global healthcare, poverty and development, and education and information.

One of their organisation's more notable undertaking would be eliminating polio from the world -



In their pledge, Bill and Melinda Gates discuss glaring issues in global healthcare - like how preventable diseases such as rotavirus was claiming the lives of half a million children annually, and how these pressing issues always sailed under the radar of many media outlets.

The husband and wife team has dedicated the bulk of their fortunes to stopping preventable deaths and tearing down barriers to health and education that impedes people's efforts to make the most of their lives. One of Bill and Melinda's key principle is that all lives have equal value - they're on a mission to give every child a chance to grow up in a satisfactory environment and have opportunities to do big things.


In Closing

I believe that on the most fundamental level, everyone wants to make a positive change in other people's lives and in the society that they live in - I feel that Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates, and all other billionaires who have pledged their wealth to charity are in realization that having a lot of money is not by itself the source of happiness, rather it's about the positive change that you're able to exact and the social issues you're able to address, that gives one a sense of true fulfilment and joy.



Support PopConversation
Discover Outstanding People and Remarkable Content


Join PopConversation on Facebook and Twitter :)





By Herman Soh
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...