Richard Branson, Virgin Founder, Pledges to Donate Half His Fortune

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Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, will donate half of his fortune to charity after he joined the Giving Pledge campaign set up by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Branson and his wife Joan wrote in their pledge letter that they want a “healthy, equitable and peaceful world for future generations to enjoy.”

They said they will mainly invest in entrepreneurial approaches to better the world.

“As and when we take monies out of the Virgin Group of companies the majority of it will be invested in entrepreneurial approaches to help make a difference in the world,” the letter said.

The campaign was first set up by Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, and investor Warren Buffett. After a few months, more than 30 U.S. billionaires joined.

It does not collect money, but asks that those who join commit to giving a portion of their wealth to good causes.

Branson said he was prompted to join when he realized “stuff” did not create happiness. “Family, friends, good health and the satisfaction that comes from making a positive difference are what really matters.”

They also said their children are on board with the idea.

“Happily, our children, who will be our principal heirs, agree with me on this,” Branson said.

Branson joins the list of the first group of non-U.S. signatories, including Russian industrial magnate Vladimir Potanin and Ukrainian metals and media tycoon Victor Pinchuk.

Other notable people involved in the campaign include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Star Wars director George Lucas and founder of the CNN news channel Ted Turner.