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Warren Buffett Tops Business Week's Ranking of American Philanthropists

Warren Buffett is number one on Business Week's just-released ranking of American philanthropists. It will be featured in the issue of the magazine that goes on sale this coming Monday.

To compile its list of the Top 50 givers in the U.S., the magazine looks at what donors have contributed or pledged over the past five years.

Bill Gates, left, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett pose for a picture after a press conference Monday, June 26, 2006 in New York.  Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, recently announced his intention of giving 10 million shares of his company to charitable organizations, the majority going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig
Bill Gates, left, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett pose for a picture after a press conference Monday, June 26, 2006 in New York. Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, recently announced his intention of giving 10 million shares of his company to charitable organizations, the majority going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Buffett's pledge in 2006 to donate the bulk of his huge fortune to charity over a number of years puts him at the top of the list with $40.655 billion given or pledged between 2004 and 2008.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda are number two with $2.625 billion.

Buffett is directing most of his money to the Gates Foundation for education and global health initiatives. This year's contribution, in the form of Berkshire stock, was worth just over $1.8 billion.

Current Berkshire stock prices:

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Questions? Comments? Email me at buffettwatch@cnbc.com