He remains the world's richest person, despite giving away 64 million shares in Microsoft. Dubbed "Mosquito Wars, " the campaign forms part of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's broader effort to combat malaria. The shares were valued at $4.6 billion at that time, reports Bloomberg. And Gates' stake in Microsoft has now shrunk to just 1.3 percent, compared to 24 percent in 1996.
World's richest man Bill Gates has reportedly made his largest donation since 2000.
The gift was not pledged to a specific entity, but in the past most of Gates' donations have gone to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which directs the money to various causes supported by Gates. The 61-year-old gave away $16bn of Microsoft shares in 1999 and $5.1bn a year later. Gates now holds less than 2 per cent of Microsoft's shares.
Gates listed for charity $4.6 billion
According to the filings, Gates still holds almost 103 million Microsoft shares, valued at US$7.54 billion.
Foundation officials did not respond to The Chronicle's requests to confirm where the shares were going.
According to Bloomberg, Gates' latest donation is his largest gift of Microsoft shares since 2000, and represents a significant reduction of his stake in the company. Mr Bezos, whose fortune has risen 30 per cent since Jan 1, briefly leapfrogged Mr Gates to become the world's richest person based on intraday prices last month. His donation once again puts Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos close to the top spot, with a net worth of US$84.5 billion.