26-Year-Old Facebook Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg Joins Buffett's Giving Pledge: 'Why Wait?'

Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook

Another 17 individuals or families have joined Warren Buffett's "Giving Pledge," including the 26-year-old co-founder and CEO of Facebook.

The news release early this morning emphasizes that Mark Zuckerberg's youth contradicts with the more familiar image of a wealthy person turning to philanthropy later in his or her life.

He's quoted as saying:

"People wait until late in their career to give back. But why wait when there is so much to be done? With a generation of younger folks who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts."

Zuckerberg is number 36 on the latest Forbes ranking of the 400 richest Americans, with an estimated wealth of $6.9 billion as of September. The year before his wealth was estimated at $2 billion.

But, as the Wall Street Journalnotes in its coverage of the new pledges, since Zuckerberg's wealth is from "his ownership state in a company that has yet to list on the stock market, much of that wealth is theoretical at this point."

Also on the December pledge list: Carl Icahn and Michael Milken.

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