Bill Gates gave away shares worth more than $6 billion last week to his charitable foundation, Business Insider reported on Monday.
Gates donated close to $5.2 billion worth of stock in Canadian National Railway Co. to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a nonprofit organization fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world.
The Microsoft co-founder also gave away $995 million worth of shares in Deere & Co. to the foundation on Thursday, filings from Friday show.
Gates is now worth $112 billion, according to Bloomberg, behind Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault, and India’s Gautam Adani.
Bill Gates to give away “virtually all” of his wealth to charity
Last week, in a Twitter thread, the philanthropist pledged to give away $20 billion to the charitable foundation this month and plans to give away “virtually all” of his wealth to it in the future.
“I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people,” Gates said last week in a tweet.
As I look to the future, I plan to give virtually all of my wealth to the foundation. I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) July 13, 2022
The foundation announced a commitment earlier this month to increase its annual donations to $9 billion by 2026.
The recent pledge and donations takes the foundation’s endowment to around $70 billion, its website says, including a $3.1 billion annual donation from Warren Buffett.
“I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact for reducing suffering and improving lives,” Gates said in the Twitter thread last week. “And I hope others in positions of great wealth and privilege will step up in this moment too.”
Gates donates to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
Through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the American philanthropist and his wife have donated more than $2 billion in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gates warned in May that the pandemic is far from over, saying there could be a variant that is “even more transmissive and even more fatal.”
“We haven’t even seen the worst of it,” he said in an interview.
While not wanting to be a “voice of doom and gloom,” the risk of a more virulent variant emerging is “way above 5 [percent],” the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist told the Financial Times.
He urged the creation of a team of international experts ranging from epidemiologists to computer modelers to identify threats and improve international coordination.
He also called for a global epidemic response team, managed by the World Health Organization and said extra investment is vital.
“It seems wild to me that we could fail to look at this tragedy and not, on behalf of the citizens of the world, make these investments,” Bill Gates said.