Mark Zuckerberg to Give Away Fortune

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

PALO ALTO, CA - AUGUST 18:  Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg smiles before speaking at a news conference at Facebook headquarters August 18, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. Zuckerberg announced the launch of Facebook Places, a new application that allows Facebook users to document places they have visited.

The 26-year-old Facebook founder is one of 16 billionaires who have agreed to join Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s “Giving Pledge.”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has signed on to give away a portion of his fortune, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The 26-year-old is one of 16 billionaires who have agreed to join “Giving Pledge,” which asks its participants to publicly commit to giving away a majority of their wealth.

Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook in his Harvard University dorm and is portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network, is one of the youngest billionaires in the world. According to Forbes, he is said to be worth $6.9 billion, though the Journal notes his value is theoretical.

Earlier this year, Zuckerberg donated $100 million to the Newark public school system, which was announced on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, who is played by actor Joseph Mazzello in the film, has also agreed to participate.

New additions to the pledge include AOL co-founder Steve Case, Carl Icahn and Michael Milken, an ex-junk-bond king. Other billionaires who had previously signed on include Oracle founder Larry Ellison, George Lucas and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett started Giving Pledge in order to persuade the rich to be more philanthropic. Last year, the two hosted several dinners for billionaires to discuss setting up the pledge, which then led to its official launch in June.

“I view this as a call to others who might in their 30s or 40s use some of their creativity to get involved in philanthropy earlier in life,” Milken said of Giving Pledge.

Steve and wife Jean Case chose to participate because of they wanted to learn from each other. “It is less about what size of a check that you write and more about the outcome,” Steve Case said. His wife noted that people who start web companies, like Zuckerberg and the founders of AOL, want “to change the world,” so it was only appropriate that “they are giving back in big ways.”