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AP Technology Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Tuesday he is donating nearly $500 million in stock to a Silicon Valley charity with the aim of funding health and education issues.

Zuckerberg donated 18 million Facebook shares, valued at $498.8 million based on their Tuesday closing price. The beneficiary is the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a nonprofit that works with donors to allocate their gifts.

This is Zuckerberg's largest donation to date. He pledged $100 million in Facebook stock to Newark, N.J., public schools in 2010, before his company went public earlier this year. Later in 2010, he joined Giving Pledge, an effort led by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. CEO Warren Buffett to get the country's richest people to donate most of their wealth. His wife, Priscilla Chan, joined with him.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Zuckerberg, 28, said he's "proud of the work" done by the foundation that his Newark donation launched, called Startup: Education, which has helped open charter schools, high schools and others.

With the latest contribution, he added, "we will look for areas in education and health to focus on next." He did not give further details on what plans there may be for funds.

"Mark's generous gift will change lives and inspire others in Silicon Valley and around the globe to give back and make the world a better place," said Emmett D. Carson, CEO of the foundation.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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