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Warren Buffett's Philanthropy

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Warren Buffett - famous investor and businessman
Warren Edward Buffett Biography : Famous American Investor - Stock Market Guru
Famous for : The successful Berkshire Hathaway Company, being one of the richest men in the world, and for being a generous philanthropist.
Buffet details : Born - August 30, 1930 Omaha, Nebraska, USA / Lives - United States of America - Omaha
More Information : Richest Man in the World 2008

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Warren Buffett has made history by becoming the most generous philanthropist of all time. The famous investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has announced in June 2006 that he will be giving away much of his $44 billion. Buffett has decided to give the bulk of generous gift to the foundation of his Bridge partner and friend of 15 years, Bill Gates. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will receive an extra $1.5 billion annually from Buffett, doubling the total budget of the foundation.

warren buffett and bill gatesThe 75 year old billionaire and second richest man in the world had previously planned to give his fortune away after his death. He had hoped that his wife Susan Buffett would someday inherit his fortune to distribute through the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. With the untimely death of "Susie" in 2004, Buffett was forced to rethink his plans. In an interview with Fortune magazine Buffett said that, "Susie was two years younger than I, and women usually live longer than men. She and I always assumed that she would inherit my Berkshire stock and be the one who oversaw the distribution of our wealth to society, where both of us had always said it would go.

Buffett separated from his wife Susan in 1977, but remained married even though they lived separate lives. The couple had three children together and remained close up until her death. The frugal billionaire had no intentions of leaving the bulk of his billions to his children as he felt it would be more of a burden than a blessing to them. He once remarked that "I want to give my kids enough so that they could feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing."

Five foundations will now receive the bulk of Warren Buffett's billions. They will receive 5% of the designated funds in 2006 and a further 5% each year until the passing of Buffett or until conditions are no longer met by the foundations. The donations will be given in the form of Berkshire Hathaway stock held by Buffett. He currently only holds Berkshire Hathaway A shares, but will give the gifts in the form of Berkshire B shares.

The foundations include "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" which will receive 10 million shares, "Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation" to receive 1 million shares, "Susan A. Buffett Foundation" to receive 350,000 shares, "Howard G. Buffett Foundation" to receive 350,000 shares, and the "NoVo Foundation" (Peter A. Buffett) will also receive 350,000 shares.

Buffett chose to give the bulk of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation because he is so impressed by the work that Bill Gates has been doing with the organization. The Gates couple and Buffett have been good friends for the past 15 years. The commitment is currently valued at about $31 billion American dollars, making it one of the largest donations ever to be given. This will be used at the rate of about $1.5 billion each year.

When asked about why he chose to give much of his fortune to the Gates Foundation, Buffett said "What can be more logical, in whatever you want done, than finding someone better equipped than you are to do it? Who wouldn't select Tiger Woods to take his place in a high-stakes golf game? That's how I feel about this decision about my money."

This June also saw Bill Gates announcing that he would be taking on fewer responsibilities at Microsoft, before committing himself completely to the Gates Foundation within the next couple of years. The richest man in the world will soon be using the drive and ambition that has created one of the most successful technology companies in the world to eliminating poverty, improving education worldwide, and for fighting health problems.

With the power of a small country and the business intelligence of Bill Gates, the Buffett billions will be sure to make a difference in the world.

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Warren Buffett Gives to Gates Foundation

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