Sara Blakely, Spanx Founder, Is First Woman Billionaire To Join Giving Pledge

1st Woman Billionaire Pledges To Donate Half Of Wealth To Charity

More billionaires showing their benevolence is a business trend we can get behind.

Nine new wealthy donors and their families signed on to the Giving Pledge on Tuesday, promising to donate at least half their wealth to charity as part of a non-binding moral contract started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates in 2010.

The new group includes Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, who is the first female billionaire to join the pledge and also the youngest self-made woman to reach billionaire status at age 41, according to Forbes.

Blakely said in her Giving Pledge letter that she wishes to further her philanthropic work in empowering underserved women.

"Since I was a little girl I have always known I would help women. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would have started with their butts…I have so much gratitude for being a woman in America. I never lose sight that I was born in the right country at the right time. And I never lose sight of the fact that there are millions of women around the world who are not dealt with the same deck of cards upon their birth."

Blakely and Spanx, a private company of which she owns 100 percent, have donated $17.5 million to charities that empower women and girls, thanks in part to another Giving Pledge member. After appearing on Virgin Group founder Richard Branson's reality show "Rebel Billionaire," which aired on Fox in 2004, the mogul gave her $750,000 to start a foundation, Forbes reported.

Earlier this year, Branson paved the way as one of the first non-U.S. billionaires to sign on to the pledge.

Past notable Giving Pledge signatories include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

See the full Giving Pledge list here.

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