Potomac, MD

The richest person in Potomac is giving away billions

Ash Jurberg

The city of Potomac in Maryland has two billionaires.

Today I wanted to look at the Potomac billionaire who has promised to give away most of his fortune. Mitchell Rales has a net worth of $5.8 billion, making him the richest person in Potomac.

Let's look at his story and the pledge he made.

The richest person in Potomac is giving away his fortune

Rales was born in 1956 in Pittsburgh and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland. He graduated from the Walt Whitman school in 1974.

Rales cofounded Danaher Corporation in 1983 with his brother Steven. The company manufactures and markets professional, industrial, medical, and commercial products and services and had revenues of $29 billion last year.

In 2016 part of the business was spun off into Fortive Corporation. Rales recently retired from Fortive Corp's position but is still chairman of Danaher.

Danaher has made Rales a very wealthy man. And he has promised to give away that fortune.

The Giving Pledge

In 2019, Rales signed the Giving Pledge. This is a promise to give away most of his wealth while he is still alive.

"We are fortunate to have the opportunity to reallocate our wealth in order to make the world a better place. To date we have given more than two billion dollars to support our two main philanthropic causes: the arts and education. The arts not only enrich our lives but are essential to promoting understanding in our society. And the value of education continues to be one of the most important priorities that we feel compelled to champion."

Rales is a passionate collector of modern and contemporary art and has donated more than $1 billion in the art to his Glenstone Museum in Potomac.

In June last year, Rales transferred $1.5 billion in Danaher Shares to his foundation to be used for charitable causes.

When we go, there's not going to be money bestowed on children and grandchildren in any meaningful way. This is about reallocating the money we had the good fortune of making to other causes.

Readers, what do you think of Mitchell Rale's desire to give away his fortune. What Potomac organizations do you think he should support?

Please leave your comments below.

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