Bill Gates has revealed that he intends to lose his spot on the Forbes rich list while he’s still alive

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Bill Gates (Jeff J Mitchell/PA) (PA Archive)
Bill Gates (Jeff J Mitchell/PA) (PA Archive)

Bill Gates has revealed he intends to lose his spot on the Forbes World’s Billionaires List while he’s still alive, having recently got the plan underway by donating $20 billion to the Gates Foundation.

Since its creation, the foundation has spent $79.2bn, which Gates noted had been funded in large part by $35.7bn of gifts from Warren Buffett, the chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway.

In an interview with Forbes, Gates revealed that he intends to abide by the ‘give while you live’ principle, popularised by philanthropist Chuck Feeney, the co-founder of Duty-Free Shoppers with Robert Miller in 1960.

Speaking to the publication, Gates said: “I’ll get myself out of the highly visible part of the list with just say two more gifts of this magnitude. I would get myself off the top part of the list.

“Getting all the way off the list, that’s going to take me a while, but my direction of travel is clear.”

The $20 billion donations brings Bill and Melinda’s lifetime giving total to $55 billion, making them the ‘biggest philanthropists of all time’, ahead of Warren Buffet, who gave $48 billion.

The pair also plan to increase the foundation spending by 50 per cent, to $9 billion a year by 2026, with a spend between now and then of $41.4 billion.

Gates added: “This is going to supercharge or accelerate, charge, turbocharge basically all the work that we do.”

He continued: “The good news is that even during the tough times of divorce, which are fortunately now more than a year behind us, we were able to work constructively at the foundation.

“It’s always surprised to me how much Melinda and I agree on foundation stuff. And we have a few things where she knows better than I and we just support each other.

“She gets to speak for herself, but everything I see says that, ‘Hey, we’re the great partnership running the foundation, we’ve always been’.”

Referencing his ex-wife Melinda’s recent trip to Africa, he added: “So she went to Rwanda where the Commonwealth heads of state got together. She went to Senegal and she was writing back every day. I saw this, I think about that.”

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