Warren Buffett is the third-richest man on earth, with a staggering net worth of 63.3 billion dollars. Currently, he is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., an American multinational conglomerate holding company that he has managed since the '60s.
Though his wealth may be massive, so too, apparently, is his capacity to be philanthropic. Mr. Buffett recently donated $2.86 billion of his holdings in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, in addition to four other smaller charities.
Since 2006, Buffett has given away $24.3 billion of his wealth. In 2010, Buffett revealed that he had made a pledge to give up 99% of his fortune to charities, and implored other similarly wealthy people to give up at least half of their fortunes as well.
Buffett's distribution of his personal wealth to others is becoming an annual event. Every July, he gives away about 5% of his shares to charity. Currently, he still owns 18% of Berkshire Hathaway's stock, compared to the the 32% he owned in 2006, prior to his annual donations.
The majority of the shares that he donates go to The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This time around, the foundation received about 14.96 million shares, out of the 19.61 million that Buffett gave up.
The close ties between Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates are many: Buffett is one of the three trustees of the foundation, the other two being Bill and Melinda Gates themselves. In addition, Gates is also a director of Berkshire Hathaway, and he and his wife are also known for their philanthropy. Their namesake charity was founded in 2000, and focuses on improving the health and education of people all over the world.
Buffett's desire is for the charities to sell the shares he gives them and to use the money to further their causes, whatever they might be.
It should also be noted that Buffett himself isn't about to go hungry because of his generosity. Even after all of his shares are gone, he will still have a fortune valued in the billions, to cushion him throughout the remainder of his very fortunate life.