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Billionaires Give Back, Sign On to 'Giving Pledge'

Bill Gates appears on ABC's 'This Week.' Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Some of the world's richest people are taking the Giving Pledge, a commitment to give the majority of their wealth away through philanthropy. It’s an initiative spearheaded by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

For Buffett, the choice to give was easy, the execution, he says, was difficult. "The question was how to do it. And it's much easier to make it than it is to give it away intelligently," said Buffett, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.

In 2006, Buffett pledged 10 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -- then worth about $31 billion dollars. He said part of the reason was that "they have this identical goal that every human life is the equivalent of every other human life."

"We really started with the premise that all lives have equal value no matter where they live on the globe. So, that's Bangladesh, or that's Boston, or that's in Britain somewhere," Melinda Gates said.

"We looked around," Bill added, "and saw that the greatest miracle that had happened for everybody on Earth is that as health had improved, it not only saved lives, it reduced sickness, let kids be able to learn."

More than 40 people have already signed on to the Giving Pledge, and others are expected to join in the coming months.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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