Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan welcomed a baby girl recently, and they decided to celebrate by giving away 99% of her inheritance. The Facebook founder and CEO announced the news in a — what else? — Facebook post on Tuesday, in the form of a letter to their newborn daughter Max.
"Your mother and I don't yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future," the post begins. "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 open letter continues, "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. 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."
Wow. What a gesture. But before you shed too many tears for poor little Max Zuckerberg, consider the fact that the remaining 1% of her trust is still worth $450 million. And that doesn't count all the assets and cash the Zuckerbergs hold outside of their shares.
Still, Zuckerberg's commitment to invest in the future is beyond admirable. No matter how much money you have, it can't be easy to part with the vast majority of it. Thankfully, at 31 years old he still has his best years ahead of him to earn it back.