Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician, were the most generous donors of 2013, according to a ranking released by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Their gift of $992 million (or 18 million shares of Facebook stock) went to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, though the couple hasn’t made clear exactly how they’re going to spend the money beyond vague mentions of education and health efforts.
Since 2008, when he became the social network’s first billionaire at the age of 23, Zuckerberg’s net worth has soared to $29.7 billion.
The record-breaking gift, which was announced in December, wasn’t the first big donation Zuckerberg has made.
They donated the same number of shares in Facebook to the fund in 2012, which totaled around $US500 million. In 2010 Zuckerberg gave away $US100 million to the Newark, N.J. school system, and he and Chan donated $US5 million to a clinic in East Palo Alto, Calif earlier this year.
He’s certainly made an effort to clean up his image from the early Facebook days.
The couple (he’s 29, she’s 28) were far and away the youngest donors on the Chronicle’s list — the median age of the top 50 givers was 72.
Second on the list was fracking pioneer George Mitchell, who left $US750 million to his family’s foundation upon his death in July 2013. Mitchell was followed by Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who donated $US500 million to cancer research last year. All told, the top 50 givers gave away $US7.7 billion in 2013, a 4% increase over the previous year.
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