News and analysis
May 30, 2017

7 More U.S. Philanthropists Promise to Give Their Fortunes Away

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Investment billionaire Robert Smith is part of the latest crop of wealthy donors to sign on to the Giving Pledge, committing at least half of their fortunes to charity.

Fourteen more individuals and families have promised to give at least half of their wealth to charity, the Giving Pledge organization announced today.

The roster of new signers includes four U.S. couples and three individual Americans, among them Texas financier Robert Smith, the country’s richest black man.

The private-equity billionaire landed the No. 35 spot on The Chronicle’s annual Philanthropy 50 list for 2016, donating more than $42 million to charity. His chief cause has been advancing educational opportunities in science and technology, particularly for African-Americans.

Other new U.S. signers include:

  • Dagmar Dolby, the widow of audio pioneer Ray Dolby, who appeared on the 2015 Philanthropy 50;
  • Nick Hanauer, a venture capitalist and the founder of public-policy organization Civic Ventures, and his wife Leslie;
  • Greece-born investor Dean Metropoulos, the former owner of Pabst Brewing, and his wife, Marianne;
  • Terry and Susan Ragon, founders of the technology company InterSystems;
  • and Nat Simons and Laura Baxter-Simons, who head Meritage Group, an investment-management firm.

Among the signers from abroad are Mohammed Dewji, chief executive of Tanzanian conglomerate the MeTL Group, and Samo and Iza Login, a Slovenian couple who founded mobile-app and gaming company Outfit7.

The Giving Pledge was started by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage their billionaire peers to give away the bulk of the wealth during their lifetimes.

Correction: The headline and text of an earlier version of this article stated that eight American individuals and couples had joined the Giving Pledge. The correct figure is seven.

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