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Mark Zuckerberg Now Richer, More Philanthropic Than Steve Jobs

The Social Network

This year's Forbes 400 list is out, ranking the nation's most obscenely rich people so they can feel stupendous about themselves. Unsurprisingly, lots of tech celebrities are on the list, and one has taken a huge leap: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuck jumped all the way to number 35 on the list thanks to the $4.9 billion he added to his fortune, totaling $6.9 billion. That's largely due to new evaluations of his company, which rate its value at around $23 billion, a whopping three times last year's estimate.

By contrast, Steve Jobs is almost destitute. Adding only $1 billion to his net worth in 2009, Jobs is worth an estimated $6.1 billion, which ranks him at a lowly #42. Forbes notes that the majority of his net worth comes from his Disney stocks rather than his Apple stocks—he's got nearly four times as much money from Disney as Apple.

Luckily, Mark Zuckerberg isn't merely sitting on his giant mountain of money, having a sliced money sandwich with money-mustard dressing on seven-currency bread and sipping on a moneyberry milkshake. The Wall Street Journal reports that Zuckerberg is set to announce a $100 million donation to the Newark, NJ public school system this week.

Newark, farming mecca or not, is one of the poorest large cities in the country, and its public school system is, on the whole, a disaster. Only half of its students secure a high-school diploma, and only 10% go on to four-year colleges. Zuckerberg is working with Newark mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to secure a matching $100 million from various private foundations. That $200 million would amount to well over 20% of the Newark public school system's total budget. All of which makes Facebook seem worth its stellar valuation.

Dan Nosowitz, the author of this post, can be followed on Twitter, corresponded with via email, and stalked in Brooklyn (no link for that one—you'll have to do the legwork yourself).

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  • Matthew Wilson

    Nate ~ I agree with you, although my calculation come up at 1.45% of his income. Either way, it boggles my mind why we put these "good deeds" up on such a high pedastal. Moreover, why do we idolize such people or compare them with other media notables like Jobs? Perhaps, Jobs contributes privately without any desire of recognition. Or, maybe, he just does not want to appear to be something he is not -- i.e. a greater philathropist than your average Joe Blow or Jane Doe.

    I realize that is asking the public to believe that a billionaire like Jobs could be honorable and possess a real sense of integrity...but who truly knows?

    Rather than tooting the horn over Zuckerberg's donation, let the media rally around the thousands of unemployed who still seem to give a little here and there.

    No hard feelings, Zuck; I am just not terribly impressed yet.

  • Nate O'Shaughnessey

    1.45% of net worth, just over 2% of annual earnings this past year.

    Since my net worth is near zero, i guess my contributions as a percentage of my net worth is much higher. I was shooting for percentage apples to apples, as much as possible.

    Maybe he truly is donating it to do something good for people, or as you mentioned, maybe he does that in private also. People have started viewing him with contempt for facebooks privacy policies and all that, so maybe it was mostly PR. Either way, i don't think he should be villinized for his donation, but like you said, I'm not terribly impressed yet either, I won't exactly be singing his praises yet either.

  • Hiten Samtani

    @Nate, Whatever percentage of his earnings it is, it is still $100million. That sort of money has a game-changing impact on whatever cause he chooses to donate to, in this case education. It's a fact that the super-wealthy can do more good than the rest of us combined, simply as a consequence of the amounts they are able to donate.

    That's not to say smaller donations by less well-off people aren't admirable, just that the absolute numbers matter far more than the relative ones do.

  • Phil

    The weird part s how Jobs can be less philanthropic ? He is much older and should have felt the urgency of giving much earlier.