Zuckerberg's newest Likes: A daughter and a $45B initiative

The social-networking giant's co-founder announces that his wife, Priscilla Chan, has given birth to their first child. The pair also says they're establishing a new philanthropic initiative with 99 percent of Zuckerberg's Facebook shares.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
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Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced the birth of their daughter, Max, on Facebook.


Mark Zuckerberg is a father, and now an even bigger philanthropist.

The CEO of the world's largest social network said Tuesday that his wife gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Max. As part of the announcement, he also revealed plans to establish the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which will receive 99 percent of Zuckerberg's Facebook shares, currently worth about $45 billion. That group will be focused on "improving this world for the next generation," Zuckerberg said. "We have a basic moral responsibility to tilt our investments."

In a video posted to Facebook, Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg's wife, said the philanthropic effort was inspired by the birth of her daughter.

The announcements were made on Zuckerberg's Facebook page, where, in July, he began more intimately discussing his family by announcing his wife's pregnancy. Among the things he's talked about are their struggles with miscarriage, and his plans to take at least two months off from work to be with his new family.

Zuckerberg is not just one of the world's richest people, he's also the leader of one of the world's most widely used websites. Facebook currently counts more than 1.5 billion people, about half the world's online population, as using its service at least once a month. Zuckerberg's own Facebook page is followed by more than 42 million people.

The company's growth has happened as Zuckerberg, 31, has grown up in the public eye. Just days after Facebook's initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2012, he used the social network to announce his marriage to Chan, his longtime girlfriend, whom he met at Harvard University. He's also written on Facebook about his travels around the world, his meetings with heads of state and his efforts to learn new languages and to read books he's deemed important. He's even established a Facebook page for his dog, Beast.

Zuckerberg has donated money to initiatives before, including in 2009 when he joined Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in promising to give away at least half his wealth. That pair also put their money behind a group, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with more than $44.3 billion in assets counted last year.

Zuckerberg will remain CEO of Facebook, and plans to dispose of no more than $1 billion of Facebook stock each year for the next three years.

Along with the announcement, Zuckerberg included a "letter to our daughter," which acted more as a manifesto of his and his wife's planned investment efforts in the coming years. In it, they discuss "promoting equality" and "advancing human potential."

"Can our generation cure disease so you live much longer and healthier lives? Can we connect the world so you have access to every idea, person and opportunity? Can we harness more clean energy so you can invent things we can't conceive of today while protecting the environment?" They hope to answer yes to each of those questions, and more.

The couple also discussed expansion of Internet access, a cause Zuckerberg has championed through his Internet.org initiative, as well as in a recent speech to the United Nations.

"Many of the greatest opportunities for your generation will come from giving everyone access to the Internet," the couple wrote. "People often think of the Internet as just for entertainment or communication. But for the majority of people in the world, the Internet can be a lifeline."