Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have welcomed their first child – a baby girl called Max – into the world, and used her arrival to announce plans to give away most of their $45 billion fortune.
The Silicon Valley billionaire and his doctor wife shared the news of the baby’s birth in a Facebook post entitled, ‘A letter to our daughter’.
Included in the lengthy post was the couple’s pledge to donate the vast majority of their fortune to future generations. They will donate 99% of their Facebook shares – currently valued at $45 billion – to the work of a new charitable foundation, the letter claims.
That would leave them with $450 million for themselves and their new child – based on Facebook’s current valuation, plus any other private wealth held by the couple.
The letter was accompanied with a picture of the proud new parents tenderly holding their newborn wrapped in a Aden And Anais swaddle cloth covered in cartoon caterpillars. The designer blankets are sold in $50 four-packs.
Dear Max,’ the 2234 word post reads. ‘Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.’
The post did not reveal when little Max was born or her full name.
The couple announced Priscilla’s pregnancy on Facebook earlier this year – acknowledging their long struggle with fertility issues and revealing they had suffered several miscarriages before conceiving their healthy little girl.
They used the open letter as an opportunity to describe ‘the world we hope she grows up in’.
‘Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today,’ it says. ‘While headlines often focus on what’s wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.
‘We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.
‘We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.’