Investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates announced yesterday that they are asking hundreds of billionaire Americans to give away at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity.


Buffett, who made his fortune with insurance and investment company Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Gates and his wife, Melinda, have held a series of dinners with rich Americans in the past year to urge them to make a philanthropic pledge.


They have named the campaign the Giving Pledge and are asking those who commit to giving away at least half their fortune during their lifetime or after their death to publicly state their intention with a letter explaining their decision.