Friday, September 24, 2010

Facebook founder to announce $100M donation

Mark Zuckerberg facebook founder will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" today to announce that he is contributing $100 million toward improving public schools in Newark, New Jersey in which Newark Mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will also appear. According to an official familiar with the accord, Zuckerberg's donation will be the first installment from a foundation financed by Zuckerberg and focused on bettering education.

With a predictable net worth of $6.9 billion, Zuckerberg ranked 35th on this year's Forbes 400 list of richest Americans -- up from 158th last year. At 26, he and Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz are the youngest billionaires on the list. The statement comes a week ahead of the release of "The Social Network" -- a highly predictable movie about the early years of the social networking powerhouse.

The movie and the book it is based on -- "The Accidental Billionaires" by Ben Mezrich -- do not portray Zuckerberg in the most positive of lights. Critics have uttered that the donation is being timed to counteract the effects of the movie. Under an agreement between Mayor Booker and Governor Christie, the state will maintain legal control over the district, but will authorize the mayor to develop a inclusive education plan. No details have been released at this time about how the money is to be distributed or used.

Zuckerberg grew up in Westchester County, New York, and founded Facebook in 2004, while studying computer science at Harvard University.