OMAHA, July 16 (UPI) -- Investor Warren Buffett has donated nearly $3 billion to charities including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as part of his plan to give away nearly all of his vast personal fortune.
Buffett gave a way a total of $2.86 billion in stock in his Berkshire Hathaway Inc., to five charities, according to media reports. The bulk of the donations are in Class B shares and they went to the vast charitable enterprise run by Buffett's personal friend and Microsoft founder.
Buffett, 85, first pledged in 2006 he would give away about 85 percent of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to the Gates Foundation. The gift at the time was valued at $30 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.
CNBC reports Buffett has given away $24.3 billion since 2006.
Other beneficiaries included the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named after Buffett's late wife; the Sherwood Foundation, run by his daughter; the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, run by his elder son; and the NoVo Foundation, run by his younger son.
Forbes magazine pegged Buffett's net worth at $60.8 billion in 2016, making him the would's third richest man. Bill Gates was again ranked the richest.
The donations reduce Buffett's voting power in his own company to 31.73 percent, the Journal reported. He personally owns about 18 percent of the company's stock.
The charities typically sell the Berkshire stock as a means to raise money for their operations.