Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Facebook founder named as No. 1 US philanthropist

AFP, WASHINGTON

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was the US’ most generous donor last year, giving nearly US$1 billion to charity, according to a magazine report on Monday.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which tracks charitable giving in the US, said Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan gave 18 million shares of Facebook stock, valued at about US$992 million, to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The Mountain View, California-based foundation specializes in management of charitable funds.

Over the past two years, the Zuckerbergs have given 36 million Facebook shares to the fund, valued at about US$1.5 billion.

The couple dedicated their 2012 funds managed by the group for health and education, the Chronicle of Philanthropy wrote.

Zuckerberg, who turns 30 later this year, is the youngest benefactor ever to top the magazine’s annual charitable donations list.

His net worth was estimated by Forbes magazine at US$19 billion as of September, making him the 20th richest in the US. That figure is believed to have risen with the value of Facebook shares, and now is approaching US$30 billion, the market intelligence firm Wealth-X estimated recently.

Last year, the Facebook couple were No. 2 on the list, making donations of nearly a half billion dollars in 2012.

First place went to investor Warren Buffett, who gave about US$3 billion to charity in 2012.

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