22 Filthy Rich People Who Will Give Away Their Fortunes

Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com

Who hasn’t dreamed of being born into a wealthy family? Or fantasized about what it might be like to have an unknown great-uncle or aunt who passes away and leaves behind a fortune?

But being born into massive wealth doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll inherit the mother lode. Some uber-wealthy folks have already made it known they won’t be leaving their huge cash stashes to their kids.

The Giving Pledge is a commitment made by some of the world’s wealthiest people to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back. Here are some big earners who’ve either signed the Giving Pledge or stated publicly that they don’t plan to leave all their riches to offspring.

Bill Gates

JStone / Shutterstock.com

Bill Gates famously made his fortune with Microsoft. He created the Giving Pledge with his wife, Melinda, and the couple’s billionaire investor friend, Warren Buffett.

Bill and Melinda Gates have three children who will surely never want for anything, but they are also growing up witnessing their parents’ generosity to others through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “This is about building on a wonderful tradition of philanthropy that will ultimately help the world become a much better place,” Gates says on the Giving Pledge site.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett
Kent Sievers / Shutterstock.com

Warren Buffett is one of the co-founders of the Giving Pledge, so it’s to no one’s surprise that the Oracle of Omaha will be giving away most of his riches. “Were we to use more than 1% of my claim checks (Berkshire Hathaway stock certificates) on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced,” Buffett says on the Giving Pledge site. “In contrast, that remaining 99% can have a huge effect on the health and welfare of others.”

Gene Simmons

Fabio Diena / Shutterstock.com

Rocker Gene Simmons, bassist for the band Kiss, may want to rock and roll all night and party every day, but he’s sensible when it comes to his millions. The Financial Post quotes Simmons as saying his children will be well taken care of, “but they will never be rich off my money. Because every year they should be forced to get up out of bed, and go out and work and make their own way.”

Jackie Chan

Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com

Martial artist and movie star Jackie Chan may get a kick out of making money, but he’s not going to let it stop his son Jaycee from seeking success. Chan has said he plans to leave his entire fortune to charity. “If he is capable, he can make his own money. If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money,” Chan said to ChannelNews Asia in 2011, according to Metro UK.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg
Nuamfolio / Shutterstock.com

Hit “Like” if you approve of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s attitude toward his billions. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, who have two young children, have signed the Giving Pledge. “We’ve had so much opportunity in our lives, and we feel a deep responsibility to make the world a better place for future generations,” the couple said in 2015.

George Lucas

Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, have a lot of galactic money credits piled up, thanks to Lucas’ filmmaking galaxy. Lucas says on the Giving Pledge site that his passion is to use his riches to improve opportunities for learning. “My pledge is to the process; as long as I have the resources at my disposal, I will seek to raise the bar for future generations of students of all ages,” he writes. “I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education.”

Michael Bloomberg

LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES / Shutterstock.com

Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — who’s also the founder, CEO and owner of Bloomberg L.P. — writes: “The reality of great wealth is that you can’t spend it and you can’t take it with you. For decades, I’ve been committed to giving away the vast majority of my wealth to causes that I’m passionate about — and that my children are passionate about. And so I am enthusiastically taking the Giving Pledge, and nearly all of my net worth will be given away in the years ahead or left to my foundation.”

Ted Turner

Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com

CNN founder Ted Turner says he was inspired to give by his father, who quietly supported the tuition of two African-American students at his alma mater, Milsaps College, in the late 1950s. “I don’t measure success in numbers, but I consider my contributions of more than $1.3 billion to various causes over the years to be one of my proudest accomplishments and the best investment I’ve ever made,” Turner writes on the Giving Pledge site.

Sara Blakely

Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder of Spanx intimate apparel company, has a clear focus for her philanthropy: Helping women. “I pledge to invest in women because I believe it offers one of the greatest returns on investment,” Blakely says on the Giving Pledge site. “While many of the world’s natural resources are being depleted, one is waiting to be unleashed — women.”

Elon Musk

Kathy Hutchins/Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

South Africa native Elon Musk, who founded car company Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, is a Giving Pledge signer as well as chairman of the Musk Foundation, which provides solar-power energy systems in disaster areas.

Andrew Lloyd Webber

lev radin / Shutterstock.com

To no one’s surprise, the English composer and musical theater impresario’s philanthropy is focused on the arts. “(A will) is one thing you do start to think about when you get to my age,” the Financial Post quotes Andrew Lloyd Webber as saying. “I don’t think (wealth) should be about having a whole load of rich children and grandchildren. I think it should be used as a way to encourage the arts.”

Richard Branson

Richard Branson
Prometheus72 / Shutterstock.com

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, a multinational venture capital conglomerate, uses much of his Giving Pledge note to give thanks for his close family, and he has a very inspiring perspective on what’s important in life. “‘Stuff’ really is not what brings happiness,” Branson writes. “Family, friends, good health and the satisfaction that comes from making a positive difference are what really matters.”

Larry Ellison

drserg / Shutterstock.com

Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison likes to keep his giving private, but agreed to go public with the Giving Pledge because of one man. “Many years ago, I put virtually all of my assets into a trust with the intent of giving away at least 95% of my wealth to charitable causes,” Ellison writes. “I have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research and education, and I will give billions more over time. … Warren Buffett personally asked me to write this letter because he said I would be ‘setting an example’ and ‘influencing others’ to give. I hope he’s right.”

Sheryl Sandberg

Krista Kennell / Shutterstock.com

Facebook’s chief operating officer is a Giving Pledge signer and also runs the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Foundation, named after her and her late husband. The foundation splits its interest among two areas. LeanIn.org, named for Sandberg’s famous book, “empowers women to achieve their ambitions.” And OptionB.Org, founded after Goldberg’s sudden death while on vacation in 2015, helps people build resilience and find meaning in the face of adversity.

Airbnb’s 3 co-founders

AngieYeoh / Shutterstock.com

The founders of lodging service Airbnb — Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia — have joined the Giving Pledge. “My philanthropic contributions will aim to build pathways for future creatives and entrepreneurs, no matter what their age, gender, or location, to achieve their dreams,” Gebbia writes on the Giving Pledge site.

Richard and Nancy Marriott

Marriott
Serjio74 / Shutterstock.com

Richard E. Marriott’s father founded Marriott Hotels. “Down through the years we have always supported the schools that have educated and trained us, the institutions that have helped us live healthy lives, and the communities that have supported us in our business endeavors,” Marriott and his wife, Nancy Peery Marriott, wrote on the Giving Pledge site. “We will continue to do so during our lives and pledge that the bulk of our estate will go to a charitable foundation that will be run by our four very capable daughters who are already heavily involved in supporting their own communities.”

Judy Faulkner

everydayplus / Shutterstock.com

Judy Faulkner started Human Services Computing, which later became medical-software company Epic Systems. “Many years ago I asked my young children what two things they needed from their parents,” Faulkner writes on the Giving Pledge site. “They said ‘food and money.’ I told them ‘roots and wings.’ My goal in pledging 99 percent of my assets to philanthropy is to help others with roots — food, warmth, shelter, healthcare, education — so they too can have wings.”

Dan and Jennifer Gilbert

Brocreative / Shutterstock.com

Ohio mogul Dan Gilbert founded Quicken Loans, but you may know him better for owning several Cleveland sports teams, including co-owning the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Gilbert and his wife, Jennifer, signed the Giving Pledge, writing, “Wealth is created. If that wealth is all passed on to another generation, its benefits often are greatly underutilized, as those who inherit the wealth view their mission as one of maintaining it. The better path is one that allows wealth to be activated as a force to make the world a better place through endless avenues.”

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
3 Ways to Get Paid for Searching the Web
3 Ways to Get Paid for Searching the Web

If you’re already doing it anyway, why not get rewarded for it? Here are three great opportunities.

26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car
26 Things Everyone Should Keep in Their Car

These tools and conveniences help protect drivers from hassles and calamities on the road.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck in 8 Steps
How to Stop Living Paycheck to Paycheck in 8 Steps

Does it feel like your paycheck is gone the moment you get it? You can break that vicious cycle.

It’s Worth Paying More for These 7 Things
It’s Worth Paying More for These 7 Things

Sometimes, the difference in quality makes it worthwhile to open your wallet a little wider.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect
Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect

Your third coronavirus payment will be the biggest yet — and possibly even bigger than you realize.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.