Suzanne Tucker  /

April 19, 2012; Source: CNN Money

Fortune reports that the number of billionaires now signed on to the “Giving Pledge” started by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates now stands at 81. The pledge commits its superwealthy signatories to give away half of their wealth in their lifetimes or at their death. The new group of 12 is:

  • Henry and Susan Samueli, who have a long history of charitable giving. Henry Samueli co-founded semiconductor giant Broadcom and is now its chief technical officer;
  • Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Motors and also co-founder of Pay Pal and SpaceX;
  • Michael Moritz, who helped to finance Google, Yahoo, and PayPal, and his wife, the novelist Harriet Heyman;
  • John Sall, the co-founder of software maker SAS Institute, and his wife Ginger;
  • John A. Sobrato, a Silicon Valley real estate developer, his wife, Susan, and their son, John Michael Sobrato;
  • Bill Ackman, of Pershing Square Capital Management, signing with his wife, Karen;
  • Glenn Dubin, of Highbridge Capital Management, and his wife, Eve;
  • Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot;
  • Steve Bing, a founder of the Shangri-La business group;
  • Edgar Bronfman of the Seagram’s fortune;
  • Red McCombs, of the San Antonio automotive empire; and
  • Ted Stanley, founder of MBI, and his wife, Vada.

By NPQ’s rough count, these twelve new signatories add up to a combined net worth of more than $25 billion. Were that to hold steady, somewhere in the ballpark of $12.5 billion may be given away by this latest group to take the pledge.

Many of those who have signed the Giving Pledge have included letters stating their reasons for making the pledge, and they are worth reading here. For instance, Arthur Blank states his concern that, “The gap between rich and poor in America is growing. Philanthropy alone cannot repair all of the social injustice in our country or the world. It can, however, inspire good will, spark innovation and provide thought leadership.” –Ruth McCambridge and Mike Keefe-Feldman