Good trumped greed as the world’s two richest men held Gotham rapt Monday, moving from a town hall meeting at the New York Public Library to a packed press conference to a sitdown with Charlie Rose (whose evening show was touted in a full-page New York Times ad).
No baby in Namibia for Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, but they made philanthropy history by pooling their wealth to deliver some $60 billion for global health and education.
Buffett will donate 85% of his $40 billion fortune to the approximately $30 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Gates said recently he plans to step down from Microsoft day-to-day and focus on the foundation.
Reporters seemed mostly obsessed with how Buffett’s kids took the news. “What did the children do wrong? Did they break curfew?” asked one.
“I don’t believe in creating dynastic wealth. … I don’t believe in inheriting your position in society based on what womb you come from,” Buffett said.
Ted Turner — who donated $2 billion to the United Nations, and prodded others to open the spigots — would be proud.
“Ted Turner started out by scolding people. We’re trying to complement that by showing how much fun it can be,” Gates said.