SALT LAKE CITY — One of Utah's wealthiest native sons is prepared to give away nearly all his billions to help others.
Jeff T. Green, a BYU graduate who has gone on to become a titan in advertising technology, announced Tuesday that he has signed The Giving Pledge, joining some of the world's richest people in committing to donate most of their wealth.
"I will give away the vast majority of my wealth through data-driven philanthropy before or at my death," Green wrote. "My target is more than 90 percent of my wealth. But I will also give of my time, my most precious commodity, to allocate those funds deliberately, and to be personally engaged."
Hundreds of other billionaires have also signed the pledge, which was created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.
Green is the CEO and chairman of The Trade Desk and has an estimated wealth of $6 billion, according to Forbes, which currently lists him as the 253rd richest man in the world.
In his letter announcing his commitment to live up to The Giving Pledge, Green shared his memories of growing up in a less-than-ideal home life, but added that it "shaped who I am today."
"Like many people, I grew up worrying about money. At a young age I remember waiting in line with my mother for government food distributions. Until well into adulthood, I constantly worried about having enough money to make ends meet. But it was never really about the money itself. It was always about what money can do," wrote Green.
Green continued, commenting on the age-old adage that money cannot buy happiness, but that "money can empower us to change almost anything" if combined with time and guided by the right people.
Green hopes to make education more accessible and attainable for all citizens as a way to address bigger problems.
"Education provides all of us with more opportunity, and educated citizens are essential to a functioning, successful society," said Green. "In some ways, in most of the western world, I think we’ve lost sight of the foundational role that education plays in creating opportunity, and improving the odds, for everyone."
Through Dataphilanthropy, the charitable arm of his family foundation, Green says he will invest in projects, communities, businesses and people with both time and money to achieve success.
"My philanthropy is not about politics or handouts — it is about getting the best outcomes for all the potential talent, which can only benefit our nation, and humankind. It will help people step up to opportunity, not lay back."