The news in December that Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have decided to give away 99 percent of their Facebook stock by the end of their lives impressed many Americans. The couple are in excellent company. Before he died, John Rockefeller gave away 95 percent of the largest personal fortune ever accumulated. George Eastman, who created Kodak, and Julius Rosenwald, who built Sears, Roebuck into a merchandising powerhouse, had both handed off the vast portion of their wealth before they took their eternal rest. Many others could be cited on this front.
And consider the case of Bill and Melinda Gates. Their net worth is roughly $80 billion at present. They have said that they intend to leave their three children $10 million each as their inheritance. Three x $10 million = $30 million kept in the family. Thirty million is less than four hundredths of one percent of $80 billion. So the Gates family appears to be on a course to give away something like 99.96 percent of its wealth.