Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Tuesday that he and his wife will give away 99% of their company shares, currently worth somewhere around $45 billion, to charity work over the course of their lifetimes.
The social media czar's promise came in the form of an open Facebook letter to daughter Max, whose birth was last week but not announced until Tuesday.
Zuckerberg, 31, and wife Dr. Priscilla Chan, 30, pledged to give their fortune to those who work to cure diseases, educate children, protect the environment and build communities, among other good deeds.
“If you have an unhealthy childhood, it’s difficult to reach your full potential,” the new father wrote.
“If you have to wonder whether you’ll have food or rent, or worry about abuse or crime, then it’s difficult to reach your full potential.
“If you fear you’ll go to prison rather than college because of the color of your skin, or that your family will be deported because of your legal status, or that you may be a victim of violence because of your religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, then it’s difficult to reach your full potential,” Max’s dad wrote.
Zuckerberg said he intends to be Facebook’s chief executive officer for many, many, years to come” and that he will annually donate up to $1 billion of company stock for the next three years.
The couple’s philanthropy is called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative LLC and Zuckerberg will control the new entity.
“Max, we love you and feel a great responsibility to leave the world a better place for you and all children. We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us. We can’t wait to see what you bring to this world,” the letter concludes.
“Love, Mom and Dad.”