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Mark Zuckerberg donates $100 million to Newark public schools

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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Donation will be the first part of a foundation intended to improve U.S. education
  • Facebook founder will announce contribution Friday on "The Oprah Winfrey Show"
  • Forbes estimates that Mark Zuckerberg is now worth $6.9 billion
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(Mashable) -- Mark Zuckerberg is donating $100 million to the Newark public school system. The donation will be the first part of a foundation intended to improve U.S. education.

Zuckerberg will announce the contribution Friday on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," where he will be joined by Newark Mayor Cory A. Booker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The New York Times broke news of Zuckerberg's educational fund shortly before Forbes revealed that the Facebook founder and CEO had climbed to the thirty-fifth position on its annual list of wealthy Americans.

Forbes estimates that Zuckerberg is now worth $6.9 billion, putting him seven spots above Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who is estimated to be worth $6.1 billion, ranking 42 on Forbes' list.

Some will call the donation calculated. The timing of the announcement is in sync with the October 1 release of "The Social Network," based on Ben Mezrich's book "The Accidental Billionaires," neither of which portrays Zuckerberg in the most favorable manner.

The donation could also be aimed at counteracting any negative stigma that could arise from his new rank on the Forbes 400.

The fact of the matter is that Mark Zuckerberg just donated $100 million of his own personal wealth to one of the country's worst school systems.

This is the sort of philanthropy that we see from the likes of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates; frankly, it's amazing to have someone else with the ability to contribute at that level to that field.

Ideally, we should be able to take the gesture at face value and not taint it with speculation.

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