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Are Many Billionaires Committed to Philanthropy?

In 2010, Bill and Melinda Gates teamed up with fellow billionaire Warren Buffett to create the "Giving Pledge," in which they vowed to donate more than half of their personal wealth to charitable causes, such as helping refugees, fighting poverty, and protecting the environment. Since then, dozens of other billionaires have also signed the pledge, bringing the total number of generous givers to 187, as of 2019. The combined net worth of the group is over $730 billion USD, meaning that at least $365 billion USD has been promised. The list of participating individuals includes such luminaries as Larry Ellison, Michael Bloomberg, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Ted Turner, and Richard Branson. However, while the billionaires are expected to donate the money either during their lives or upon their death, the pledge is not legally binding.

A rich history:

  • Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling was the first author in history to earn over $1 billion USD from writing.

  • According to an Oxfam report in 2016, the richest 1 percent of the world's population have more money than the other 99 percent combined.

  • Warren Buffett still lives in the same home in Omaha, Nebraska, that he bought for $31,500 USD in 1958.

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