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Buffett stays true to form, even as a donor

June 29, 2006

When the news about Warren Buffett's huge gift to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation started coming out the other night, I wondered if I was missing something. He's giving away $31 billion, and he's not getting a single thing named for himself?

Some people write a $10,000 check to their alma mater and expect to get a plaque celebrating their generosity, and here was Buffett making a gift that will effectively send $10,000 to the Gates Foundation every three minutes, around the clock, for decades on end. For that amount of money, he could have founded Buffett University in his native Nebraska with a larger endowment larger than Harvard, or he could have set up the world's richest foundation - the Buffett Foundation - and engaged in a little competitive philanthropy with his fellow bridge player Bill Gates.

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