Billionaire Jeff Greene Takes Buffett Charity Pledge to Spare Son

Friday, 10 Dec 2010 03:11 PM

 

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Billionaire real-estate investor Jeff Greene has committed most of his wealth to charity, saying he doesn’t want to harm his son with too large an inheritance.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet and get to know a number of people who were what I would say ‘cursed’ with very large inheritances,” Greene said in a letter posted on the website of the Giving Pledge, the philanthropy initiative led by Warren Buffett. “These folks had the disadvantage of the advantaged.”

Greene follows Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, investor Carl Icahn and 15 other wealthy U.S. individuals and families, whose charity commitments were announced by the Giving Pledge yesterday. Buffett started the program with Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates this year to encourage billionaires to increase their donations.

Greene failed this year to win the Democratic nomination for a U.S. Senate seat from Florida. During the campaign, news media focused on his friendships with boxer Mike Tyson, who was best man at his wedding, and Heidi Fleiss, the convicted “Hollywood madam.” Greene has a one-year-old son.

“While I intend to provide him a level of security, I would never consider leaving him the vast amount of wealth that I have been fortunate to accumulate,” Greene said of his son in the letter, which was addressed to Buffett.

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