OMAHA, Neb. – Warren Buffett is celebrating his 82nd birthday by giving each of his three children a big present: about $600 million worth of his company’s stock for their charitable foundations.
Buffett announced the gifts in a letter made public Thursday, saying he is rewarding his children for the way they’ve run their foundations.
The new contributions, added to previous gifts, mean they’ll each receive about $2.1 billion in stock over time. In 2006, Buffett promised to give roughly $1.5 billion of Class B Berkshire Hathaway stock to each of the foundations his children run as part of a plan to give the bulk of his fortune to charity.
The biggest share of Buffett’s $44.7 billion fortune will go to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Another sizable gift will go to the Susan Thompson Buffett foundation that Buffett created with his first wife.
Buffett said he decided to increase the amount his children will receive because of the progress they’ve made.
“I’m very pleased about how all three of them have handled the contributions in the last six years,” Buffett told the Associated Press.
Buffett said he is feeling fine and this decision was not prompted by any concern about his health. Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman and CEO has been undergoing radiation treatment for prostate cancer this summer, but he has said his doctors do not believe the disease is life-threatening.
Each of Buffett’s three children chose a different focus for their foundations, based on their own interests.
Howard Buffett, 57, is helping farmers in impoverished nations produce more to help end world hunger. Susie Buffett, 59, is strengthening early childhood education and looking for ways to reduce teen pregnancy. Peter Buffett, 54, wants to empower women and girls worldwide.