July 6, 2014; Daily Mirror
This is the second time NPQ has written this story, albeit about different people. In this latest story, self-made billionaire Yu Pengnian has declared that he will leave the entirety of his $1.2 billion fortune to charity.
The money will go to the foundation he founded five years ago, which focuses on scholarships, reconstruction work following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and operations for those who, like him, who suffer from cataracts.
Sign up for our free newsletter
Subscribe to the NPQ newsletter to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.
Pengnian’s family supports his unusual decision, but he says, “I don’t care what others think. It makes me happy to give my money away. I used to be poor.” Pengnian is 88 years old and he started his working life as a penniless rickshaw driver.
In March, of course, Bill and Melinda Gates indicated that they would not leave their children billions, though they would leave them some more reasonable amount. But also in March, according to the Daily Mail, John Roberts declared he would donated the whole of his fortune of £500 million from the sale of AO.com, the home appliances online retail site he co-founded. Though Roberts has five children, he says he will leave the entirety of his wealth to charity, bequeathing nothing to his children in hopes that they will make their own ways in the world.
Mr. Roberts, aka “the Kitchen King,” did not finish school himself, describing himself as not very academic. He commented, “My dad’s philosophy was: ‘I’ll give you the best start in life I can afford and what you do with it is up to you.’” He added, “[My wife and I have] been really conscious not to change anything. The kids are getting nothing.”
Mr. Roberts intends to establish a charitable foundation to manage his philanthropy.—Ruth McCambridge