Mark Zuckerberg announced the birth of his first child today and said that he would be giving away 99 percent of his Facebook shares.
Exuberant over the birth of his first child, a girl named Max, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced in a Facebook post on Tuesday that they would be giving away 99 percent of their Facebook shares over the course of their lifetimes.
The stock, currently worth about $45 billion will be used to fund an assortment of philanthropic ventures designed to help make the world a better place for future generations.
The announcement was made in the form of a letter to their newborn daughter, Max.
The letter began,
Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.
Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.
The proud parents continued, stating:
While headlines often focus on what’s wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.
We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.
After discussing some of the global issues of interest, the Zuckerbergs announced that:
For your generation to live in a better world, there is so much more our generation can do.
Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges. I will continue to serve as Facebook’s CEO for many, many years to come, but these issues are too important to wait until you or we are older to begin this work. By starting at a young age, we hope to see compounding benefits throughout our lives.
As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation. Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.
We will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.
We’ll share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves. We understand you’ll have many questions about why and how we’re doing this.
Priscilla and I are so happy to welcome our daughter Max into this world!For her birth, we wrote a letter to her about…