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Facebook founder to donate $100m to public schools

world Updated: Sep 23, 2010 22:07 IST

PTI
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In a goodwill gesture, social networking site Facebook's founder Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to donate a whopping $100 million to improve the troubled public school system in Newark city, a media report said.

26-year-old Zuckerberg is to announce the donation on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" to be aired on Friday, 'The New York Times' reported, claiming that the gift would actually be the first instalment in an education endowment started by him.

The proposed donation would be by far the largest publicly known gift by Zuckerberg, also the chief executive of Facebook, whose fortune was estimated last year at $two billion by the 'Forbes magazine'.

The gift is many times larger than any the system has received before, and amounts to one-eighth of the $800 million annual operating budget. It was not yet clear how the money would be used, the report said.

The newspaper said the gift would be made with the condition of giving back some control of the school system to the mayor of the city, Cory Booker. The state currently runs the system in the troubled city.

The report said that Zuckerberg had no connection to Newark, but that in July he and Booker met at a conference and began a conversation about the mayor's plans for the city.

Zuckerberg's act of public generosity would come a week ahead of the October 1st release of 'The Social Network' film, a Hollywood take on the birth of Facebook that casts a harsh light on its founder.

Facebook has not sanctioned the film, which is based on the book 'The Accidental Billionaires', and takes viewers back to Harvard, where Zuckerberg was a student with dazzling computer skills who didn't fit in.