Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has taken the crown away from Bill Gates as the world’s richest man, but can that be attributed to Gates’ philanthropic efforts?
Bezos’ net worth shot to $90.6 billion Thursday, which overtook Gates’ net worth of $90.1 billion, Forbes reported.
Gates has made a strong effort to donate his vast fortune through the Giving Pledge, which started in 2010, according to CNBC. The organization was started by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, the world’s third richest person with a net worth of $74.2 billion. The pledge encourages billionaires to give most of their fortunes away to philanthropic efforts.
Forbes reported that near the end of 2016, Gates had given away $31.1 billion throughout his life. At the end of 2016, Buffett had given away $28.5 billion in his lifetime to charities, according to Forbes. Buffett pledged to give away 99 percent of his wealth to charities through the Giving Pledge.
Bezos is not among the 170 people who made the Giving Pledge, which includes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose net worth is $72.6 billion.
Compared to Gates and Buffett, Bezos had given an estimated $100 million to charity toward the end of 2015, according to Forbes.
Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, gave $15 million in 2015 to Princeton University, their alma mater, according to The New York Times. Bezos’s family in March donated $35 million to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and an additional $30 million to the same center previously.
In 2011, Bezos gave $10 million to Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry. And he gave $1 million to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in May of this year, The New York Times reported.
In June, Bezos sought ideas for philanthropy via Twitter, but hasn’t disclosed specific plans.
“I’m thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact,” Bezos wrote.
According to The New York Times, Bezos hasn’t established a personal charitable foundation, but he sits on the board of the Bezos Family Foundation, which is run by his parents Mike and Jackie Bezos.