Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife to give 99 percent of shares to charity.
In an unprecedented philanthropic gesture for their generation, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla, celebrated the birth of their daughter with the announcement that they will give $45 billion during their lifetime to promote equality and human potential.
The couple will give 99 percent of their Facebook stock to their new Chan Zuckerberg Initiative , which will initially focus on personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.
Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, singer Shakira and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger all “liked” the post on the page by the Facebook founder and chief executive officer, which attracted more than 570,000 "likes." Gates wrote in her Facebook comment, “Mark and Priscilla: Congratulations—we’re thrilled for both of you! ... As for your decision to give back so generously, and to deepen your commitment now, the first word that comes to mind is: Wow. The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world.”
The Facebook post was presented as a letter to their newborn daughter Max on the U.S. national day of giving known as #GivingTuesday.The letter highlights their belief that by connecting more than half of the world’s population to the internet, they can help lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
An excerpt from the letter reads:
Our hopes for your generation focus on two ideas: advancing human potential and promoting equality.
Advancing human potential is about pushing the boundaries on how great a human life can be.
Can you learn and experience 100 times more than we do today?
Can our generation cure disease so you live much longer and healthier lives?
Can we connect the world so you have access to every idea, person and opportunity?
Can we harness more clean energy so you can invent things we can't conceive of today while protecting the environment?
Can we cultivate entrepreneurship so you can build any business and solve any challenge to grow peace and prosperity?
Promoting equality is about making sure everyone has access to these opportunities -- regardless of the nation, families or circumstances they are born into.
Our society must do this not only for justice or charity, but for the greatness of human progress.
Today we are robbed of the potential so many have to offer. The only way to achieve our full potential is to channel the talents, ideas and contributions of every person in the world.
Can our generation eliminate poverty and hunger?
Can we provide everyone with basic healthcare?
Can we build inclusive and welcoming communities?
Can we nurture peaceful and understanding relationships between people of all nations?
Can we truly empower everyone -- women, children, underrepresented minorities, immigrants and the unconnected?
If our generation makes the right investments, the answer to each of these questions can be yes -- and hopefully within your lifetime.
Mark Zuckerberg is 31 years old and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan is 30 years old.