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Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan announce birth of baby girl 'Max'

December 1, 2015 10:26 pm

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have welcomed their first child – a baby girl called Max – into the world, and used her arrival to announce plans to give away most of their $45 billion fortune.

The Silicon Valley billionaire and his wife shared the news of the baby’s birth in a Facebook post entitled, ‘A letter to our daughter’.

Included in the lengthy post was the couple’s pledge to donate the vast majority of their fortune to future generations. They will donate 99% of their Facebook shares – currently valued at $45 billion – to the work of their charitable foundation, the letter claims. That would leave them with $450 million for themselves and their new child – based on Facebook’s current valuation.

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The letter was accompanied with a picture of the proud new parents tenderly holding their newborn wrapped in a blanket covered in cartoon caterpillars.

‘Dear Max,’ the 2234 word post reads. ‘Your mother and I don’t yet have the words to describe the hope you give us for the future. Your new life is full of promise, and we hope you will be happy and healthy so you can explore it fully. You’ve already given us a reason to reflect on the world we hope you live in.’

The couple announced Priscilla’s pregnancy on Facebook earlier this year – acknowledging their long struggle with fertility issues.

They used the open letter as an opportunity to describe ‘the world we hope she grows up in’.

‘Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today,’ it says. ‘While headlines often focus on what’s wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today.

’We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation.

‘We believe all lives have equal value, and that includes the many more people who will live in future generations than live today. Our society has an obligation to invest now to improve the lives of all those coming into this world, not just those already here.’

Later in the letter, the couple outline how they intend to make sure a difference.

‘We will give 99% of our Facebook shares — currently about $45 billion — during our lives to advance this mission,’ the letter says. ’We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others.

’We’ll share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves. We understand you’ll have many questions about why and how we’re doing this.’

Notoriously private Zuckerberg has been more public with the pregnancy and birth of his daughter than many would have previously expected.

The CEO announced he would be taking two months paternity leave following Max’s birth and outlined a new proposal to give Facebook fathers the option of four months leave on full pay.

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