Update: December 9, 2010 Mark Zuckerburg pledged $100 million to the Newark Public Schools in New Jersey as a way to pledge his support to The Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
The Giving Pledge encourages billionaires to donate half of their assets to charity either during their lifetime or at their death. A total of 57 billionaires have joined The Giving Pledge so far. Some of the newest ones are: Steve Case Co-founder of AOL, Carl Icahn, Michael Milken, Joe Mansueto Morningstar Chief Exec, Ted Forstmann and Nicolas Berggruen. Kudos to Facebook mogul and the other 56 billionaires on board so far, but according to Forbes magazine, the US boasts more than 400 billionaires. Where is everybody else?
If anyone questions how much Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerburg values education, you could answer with a nine-digit number. The Facebook founder will be donating $100 million to the struggling Newark school system. The official announcement is expected to be made on The Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow. Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are also scheduled to be guests on the show.
Some critics have speculated that the donation is timed to divert attention away from the critical, although fictionalized, depiction of Zuckerburg in the soon-to-be-released film, The Social Network. Nonetheless, the charitable gift will unquestionably have a huge positive impact on Newark public schools. Zuckerburg has been named the 35th richest American by Forbes.
The Newark public schools are overseen by the state of New Jersey, in a special agreement between the governor and the city mayor. Specifics as to how the money will be used have not been disclosed.
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