Warren Buffett’s charitable giving tops $51 billion

June 22 (Reuters) – Warren Buffett has donated another $4.64 billion of Berkshire Hathaway ( BRKa.N ) shares to five charities, bringing his total giving since 2006 to more than $51 billion.

The annual donation on Wednesday is the 92-year-old Buffett̵[ads1]7;s largest, and consisted of about 13.7 million of Berkshire’s Class B shares.

Buffett is donating 10.45 million shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has received more than $39 billion in Berkshire stock in total.

He also donates 1.05 million shares to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named after his late first wife, and 2.2 million shares divided equally between charities led by his children Howard, Susan and Peter: Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation and the NoVo Foundation.

Buffett is gradually giving away almost all of the fortune he built in Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire, which he has run since 1965.

He and Bill Gates pioneered the Giving Pledge, in which more than 240 people such as Michael Bloomberg, Larry Ellison, Carl Icahn, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg committed at least half of their wealth to philanthropy.

Buffett has already donated more than half of his Berkshire stock. He still owned more than $112.5 billion, or 15.1%, of Berkshire shares after Wednesday’s donations.

The number of shares Buffett donates falls by 5% each year, but this year’s dollar amount set a record because Berkshire’s stock price has risen.

“Nothing extraordinary has happened at Berkshire: a very long runway, simple and generally good decisions, the American tailwind and compounding effects produced my current wealth,” Buffett said in a statement.

“American tailwind” was coined by Buffett in 2019 to describe America’s ability to build wealth over the long term, even through times of war and financial crisis.

Buffett built Berkshire into a roughly $740 billion company through businesses such as BNSF railroad and Geico auto insurance, and stakes in companies such as Apple Inc ( AAPL.O ).

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation works on reproductive health. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation focuses on alleviating hunger, mitigating conflict and improving public safety. The Sherwood Foundation supports nonprofit organizations in Nebraska, and the NoVo Foundation has initiatives focused on girls and women.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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