Billionaire oligarch, Warren Buffet, has flexed his philanthropic muscle again, and this time it's to the tune of a staggering $2.6 billion. Yesterday, the 82-year-old titan gave away over 23 million shares of his famed enterprise, Berkshire Hathaway, to be split up between five different charities. According to the Los Angeles Times, the gesture is part of the icon's bigger, long-term and elaborate plan to give away a huge chunk of his fortune before he passes away.
Buffet, also known as the "Oracle of Omaha," which is his hometown and location of his headquarters, was recently ranked by Forbes in March to have a net worth of over $53.5 billion - a figure that comfortably landed him in the fourth spot on the list of the world's richest people.
According to CNBC, Berkshire Hathaway's Class B stock (which, by the way, is a simple label given to stocks that typically hand the holder less voting power in the company than Class A) has seen a 39 percent increase in value in the past year. In addition, the price of Buffet's overall stock hit an all time high at $115.98 per share in the middle of June.
This success has helped the billionaire to show a huge gesture of generosity towards the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which received the bulk of the $2 billion plus donation, as well as his and his children's charities.
However, this week does not, by any means, mark a surprise when it comes to Buffet's philanthropic nature. Since 2006, the man, who fully owns the likes of Geico, Dairy Queen and Fruit of the Loom, has given away over 160 million shares of his company, which together amounts to $13 billion, according to CNBC. And that's only counting what he has given to Gates, which aims to completely end world-hunger, amongst many other global problems.
Buffet has also, along with Bill and Melinda, pushed other wealthy people to show that sharing is truly caring by imploring them to give up half of their fortunes to charity as part of the giving pledge. The L.A. Times says that he has been successful in helping to convince at least 105 filthy rich millionaires and billionaires to clean out their pockets for a good cause.
And while Bill Gates may be leading the race of lifetime giving, - the Microsoft founder has given away $28 million to Berkshire Hathaway's $20 million - Buffet's commitment to philanthropy ranks second to none. The elderly billionaire promises to give away 99 percent (not a typo), a pledge that has been unmatched in the world of the super-elite.
Warren Buffet's generosity has been truly remarkable, and his campaigning for others to follow his lead has been equally impressive, proving that he is not just the Oracle of Omaha, but also the Champion of Charities.
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