Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan were the second-largest philanthropists in America last year as they gave away nearly half a billion dollars.
The 28-year-old Zuckerberg and his pediatrician wife donated a total of 498.8 million dollars to charitable causes in 2012, putting them in line after billionaire Warren Buffett, reports the Daily Mail.
Zuckerberg made his first massive donation two years earlier when he announced that he was pledging 100 million dollars to the Newark school system in New Jersey. That donation was tainted with cynicism as it came around the same time as the film The Social Network which portrayed him in a somewhat negative light.
The spending spree didn't stop there, however, as The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that he donated 18 million shares of Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation in 2012. The shares are valued at about 498.8 million dollars and he directed it towards the local group. Education and health programs are two of the many ways that the non-profit directs their funds.
Aside from the donation to the Newark education system and the latest boost to the Silicon Valley fund, Zuckerberg also announced in May last year, that he integrated a way for Facebook users to publicize their role as organ donors in an effort to connect those in need with people willing to help. This was one of the clearest ways that his wife's interests influenced his charitable efforts.
The Zuckerbergs are not alone as the only wealthy donors to come from the world of technology, as they are joined in the top five by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki. The top ten donors are- Warren Buffett, financial analyst; Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Facebook founder and pediatrician; John and Laura Arnold, hedge fund manager and philanthropist; Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft; Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Google co-founder and philanthropist; Mortimer Zuckerberg (no relation), media and real estate mogul; Fred Fields, manufacturing mogul; Carl Icahn, investment manager; Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, hotel and casino mogul, and David Gundlach, insurance.