Billionaire Warren Buffett has long been a fan of philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, but he spelled out exactly why he adores the generous power couple on Wednesday night.
The Berkshire Hathaway CEO warmly toasted the Gateses at the Forbes Summit on Philanthropy and praised them for putting in as much as 60-hour work weeks for their charitable work alone
“I’ve studied the great foundations … But in no case did the founders of those foundations remotely pour the personal time and effort and brainpower into their foundations that Bill and Melinda have,” Buffett said. “They have been spending, and I’ve observed it, certainly 50 hours a week, maybe averaging 60 hours a week.”
The pair established the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, with the goal of giving every person in the world the chance to lead a healthy and productive life.
That’s involved tackling a host of plaguing issues, including providing vaccines to people in need, increasing access to birth control and family planning services and tackling hunger.
Just on Thursday, the organization announced that it would spend $776 million fighting hunger over the next six years, double what it’s currently spending, according to Reuters.
Though he’s modest about his role, Buffett has contributed a considerable amount of money and resources in helping to bring the Gateses vision to life.
“I made the kind of deal I usually make,” Buffett said on Wednesday. “They did the work and I sat around and watched.”
Together, the trio launched the Giving Pledge in 2010, an initiative that encourages the world’s richest people to commit a majority of their wealth to charitable causes.
As of Tuesday, after 10 additional families joined, the Giving Pledge boasts 137 signatories -– including the likes of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
"It's exciting to see people becoming bolder and more thoughtful in their giving," Bill Gates said in a statement. "This is about building on a wonderful tradition of philanthropy that will ultimately help the world become a much better place."