Kaiser, Pickens Take The Giving Pledge

Thursday, August 5th 2010, 9:48 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Take Oprah's net worth, double it and that's how much money a Tulsa man is pledging to give to charity.

George Kaiser and fellow billionaire philanthropist T Boone Pickens have both promised to share their wealth.

8/4/2010 Related Story: Pickens, Kaiser Pledge To Give Much Of Their Wealth To Charity

"I don't want to be on this earth exclusively to accumulate resources but to make something happen that otherwise would not have happened that helps the lives of somebody else," George Kaiser said.

Spoken by a man with a heart truly bigger than his ten-billion dollar bank account. And that's just what the two richest men in the nation, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, were counting on.

They started the Giving Pledge which asks the nation's billionaires to publicly state they will donate at least half of their fortunes to charity.

Kaiser, the 24th richest man in the country, signed on. Not surprising from a man who Business Week ranked one of the country's top three philanthropists. Kaiser has donated more than three-billion-dollars to the family foundation that bears his name.

The foundation spends $25 million every year on projects like Educare, which provides educational opportunities for Oklahoma's low-income babies and toddlers.

In 2008, the Kaiser Foundation gave $50 million to the University of Oklahoma to create the School of Community Medicine.

And when OSU Medical Center was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, the Kaiser foundation stepped in with $11.6 million to help save it.

Another billionaire with ties to Oklahoma is also taking the pledge.

Oil baron T Boone Pickens is also committing to giving away half of his $1.1 billion.

"We're not winning as much as I'd like to see in the Big 12," Pickens has said.

Pickens gave $165 million to OSU in 2005 and another $100 million just six months ago. He's lavished his alma mater with gifts.

His website says he's contributed about half a billion total to the school, split evenly between athletics and academics. In his giving pledge, Pickens says he enjoys making money but giving it away is a close second.

So what about the children and their inheritance?

George Kaiser says in his pledge that his family is "very well provided for" and they join him in his devotion to charity.

Of course, even if he gives away half, he's still a multi-billionaire.

For more information about the Giving Pledge, click here