Warren Buffett has built one of the greatest fortunes in history, and on Monday he continued his quest to give it all away. For the 12th time, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman has made his annual summer donation, this year gifting Berkshire stock worth more than $3.17 billion to charity.
The staggering sum is Buffett’s biggest-ever summer donation, topping last year’s $2.86 billion gift, thanks to the rising value of his conglomerate’s share price over the past year. Berkshire stock is up 17% since last July, closing at $170.25 on Monday.
The bulk, reportedly about $2.4 billion, was placed in the hands of the richest man on the planet, Bill Gates. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, run by the Microsoft cofounder and his wife, focuses on causes like ending world poverty, improving U.S. schools and combating infectious diseases like HIV, polio and malaria.
Just as in years past, Buffett is also giving hundreds of millions to four charities connected to close family members: the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, the charity named for his late wife that focuses on family planning programs and college scholarships, plus each of his three children’s foundations -- the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Sherwood Foundation and the NoVo Foundation -- which are run by Howard, Susan and Peter Buffett, respectively.