Facebook Creator Announces $100 Million School Donation on Oprah - NBC Chicago

Facebook Creator Announces $100 Million School Donation on Oprah



    Zuckerberg's $100 Million Education Pledge

    Facebook founder donates a ton. (Published Friday, Sept. 24, 2010)

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg just "friended" the entire Newark Public School System.

    Zuckerberg  announced on the Oprah Winfrey Show Friday his intention to donate $100 million to improve the Newark school system.

    Why Newark?

    "Every child deserves a great education and right now that's not happening," Zuckerberg said. "Newark is really just cause I believe in these guys.  ... It's what's best for Newark"

    The guys he mentioned were Newark mayor Corey Booker and New Jersey Governor Chris Cristie who appeared on the Winfrey show and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan who appeared via sattelite.

    Duncan has been out touting the first distribution of the $1.2 billion dollars the Obama Administration set aside to fund teacher incentive programs over the next five years. He and the New Jersey politicians were happy to hear about Zuckerberg's largesse.

    "I'm really proud of these guys,"  Duncan said.

    Booker said the donation would help his ailing school system immeasurably.

    "It's a victory for the kids in our city," Booker said. "The grant will shift the paradigm in Newark."

    Despite scuttlebutt that Zuckerberg donated the grand sum in order to balance an unflattering portrait of him in the newly released film "The Social Network," Winfrey and Zuckerberg went to great lengths dispel the PR stunt angle.

    Winfrey said Zuckerberg initially insisted on making the donation anonymously. When Winfrey asked about the timing of the donation to coincide with the film's opening, Zuckerberg laughed it off.

     "It's a movie. It's fun. A lot of it is fiction," he said. "This is my life so I know it's not that dramatic."

    A Westchester County native, he lives in California and is America’s second-youngest self-made billionaire with a worth of $6.9 Billion, according to Forbes.

    He ranked No. 35 in the Forbes 400 list, released Wednesday, and passed Apple CEO Steve Jobs ($6.1 billion net worth).