Bill Gates to erase himself from the billionaires list, donating $20 billion of his wealth

The money will go to the Gates Foundation.
Ameya Paleja
Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum in 2009Sebastian Derungs/Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft founder Bill Gates revealed that he will give away his wealth for various reasons ranging from climate adaptation to pandemic prevention. This will eventually cross his name off on the world's richest people list.

With his wife, Gates started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in 2000 to "fight disease, poverty, and inequity around the world", the foundation's website states. After stepping down as CEO of the software company around the same time, Gates has been involved in philanthropic activities through the foundation and was among the few people who warned about an imminent pandemic. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gates helped fund the development of vaccines but also found himself at the center of conspiracy theories surrounding them and why people have chosen not to get vaccinated. Nevertheless, Gates plans to continue to fund the foundation's works and recently announced that he was transferring $20 billion to the foundation's endowment this month. 

Plans to increase the foundation's spending by 2026

In a long Twitter thread, Gates outlined how, after decades of progress, the world was facing major setbacks in terms of the conflict in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic. Stating that the world could still be a better place in the future, Gates said that his foundation would strive to give people a chance to live healthy and productive lives.

To achieve this, the foundation plans to increase its yearly spending from $6 billion to $9 billion by 2026, and his upcoming wealth transfer would help accomplish this goal. 

Gates also took the opportunity to reiterate that Warren Buffett, the CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, was also an equal contributor to the foundation and has contributed over $35 billion towards the foundation's efforts. In the following tweet, Gates also said that in the future, he planned to give away all the wealth to the foundation, a move that would erase him from the list of the world's billionaires.  

The Giving Pledge

Gates and his wife, Melinda, and Buffett founded an initiative for billionaires worldwide in 2010 called The Giving Pledge. Over a decade, more than 200 billionaires have signed up for the initiative that requires billionaires to give away a majority of their wealth to charitable causes or philanthropies during their lifetimes or after death. 

Gates reiterated his decision to give away his wealth during his lifetime in the following tweet below: 

With a total net worth of $113 billion, at the time of writing, Gates is the fourth richest person in the world. 

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