My1sttoday: Warren Buffett resigns as Trustee of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, gives away $4.1 billion. This latest distribution of wealth is part of a pledge he made in 2006 to give away all of the shares he owns in Berkshire Hathaway, the Nebraska-based conglomerate he has owned since 1970.
His Berkshire Hathaway shares comprise around 99% of his net worth and Buffet said he is “halfway there” in donating the majority of his wealth.
Since 2006, Buffett has donated more than $41.5 billion of Berkshire shares, including $32.7 billion to the Gates Foundation. Buffett said it was the “easiest deed in the world” to “give away money that will never be of any real use to you or your family.”
Buffett, 90, said in a statement that he has been an “inactive trustee” for years at the foundation, but fully supported Chief Executive, Mark Suzman and that their goals were “100% in sync.”
In a statement, Warren Buffett said “…A much more admirable form of philanthropy than mine involves the giving of personal time and effort, I’ve done little of that.
Those who give their love and time in order to directly help others — perhaps adding a monetary gift that requires them to give up the purchase of something meaningful for their own use — are the heroes of philanthropy. America has millions of such givers.”
The recipients of Buffett’s donations include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation that was named in honour of his late wife, and philanthropic organizations founded by his children.
Buffett was one of only three trustees at the foundation – the other two being Bill and Melinda Gates.
Founded in 2000, the Gates Foundation focuses on combating poverty, disease and inequity, spending $54.8 billion in its first two decades.
Bill Gates said in a statement that the foundation “Will always have a deep sense of accountability to Warren, paying close attention to the data to track our progress and identify where we can do better. But the value of Warren’s gift goes beyond anything that can be measured. I am truly grateful for his wisdom and leadership, and most of all for his enduring friendship. Warren will continue to inspire our foundation as we work to fight poverty and help millions of people live healthier lives.”
Melinda Gates said that she is “grateful for Warren’s generosity, his leadership, and his friendship. His wisdom has been a guiding light through our foundation’s second decade, and the things we’ve learned from him will continue to help us chart a way forward,”