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Larry Ellison, dozens more, to give away wealth

Oracle CEO along with George Lucas, Michael Bloomberg, and host of other billionaires say yes to call from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett for charity donations.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is among dozens of billionaires who have signed on to give away the bulk of their wealth to charity.

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have been lobbying the world's megarich to sign a "Giving Pledge" to eventually donate at least half of their fortunes. The Wall Street Journal noted on Wednesday that there are now about 40 signatories to the pledge, including Ellison, filmmaker George Lucas, IAC chief Barry Diller, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, oil tycoon (and onetime Yahoo investor) T. Boone Pickens, and more.

"We've really just started, but already we've had a terrific response," Buffett said in a statement. "At its core, the Giving Pledge is about asking wealthy families to have important conversations about their wealth and how it will be used. We're delighted that so many people are doing just that--and that so many have decided to not only take this pledge but also to commit to sums far greater than the 50 percent minimum level."

The full list of those who have made the commitment is on the Giving Pledge Web site and includes some other tech names, including Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs, eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar, and noted tech venture capitalist John Doerr.

Ellison said it has long been his intent to give away his wealth.

"Many years ago, I put virtually all of my assets into a trust with the intent of giving away at least 95 percent of my wealth to charitable causes," he said on the Giving Pledge Web site. "I have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research and education, and I will give billions more over time. Until now, I have done this giving quietly--because I have long believed that charitable giving is a personal and private matter."

Gates is scheduled to speak on Friday at the inaugural Techonomy conference near Lake Tahoe. (Beyond Binary is on the scene now and will have coverage of Gates' speech and the rest of the event.)