This Orange County billionaire has promised to give his wealth away

Ash Jurberg

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Henry Samueli has a very long list of accomplishments.

He is the co-founder of chipmaker Broadcom. He owns the Anaheim Ducks in the National Hockey League, has been a professor at UCLA and UC Irvine, and is a named inventor on 75 patents. He has a net worth of $7.4 billion. It's quite the resume.

But the thing he should be most noted for is his philanthropy. He has donated millions of dollars to organizations in Orange County and has promised to give most of his wealth away.

Let's take a quick look at his story.

The Orange County billionaire

Henry Samueli was born in 1954, the son of two immigrants that had fled Nazi Germany.

He worked in his family's liquor store in Los Angeles while in school and went to college at UCLA, where he earned a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering.

In 1991, while he was a professor at UCLA, he co-founded Broadcom.

After four years, he took a leave of absence from UCLA to work full time on Broadcom, and in 1998 Broadcom went public.

With an abundance of wealth thanks to the public listing, Samueli decided to give back to the community and established the Samueli Foundation.

Philanthropy

For us, giving back was never a question. It began with our parents who set the example by living modestly while giving back generously to the community.

The foundation focuses on education, integrative health, social justice, and youth services. Much of this work is being carried out within the educational funding area through involvement locally with the Orange County STEM Initiative. Other donations include $200 million to the University of California, Irvine, the largest gift in the school's history. They have also donated $100 million to UCLA.

In 2011, Samueli and his wife Susan took their commitment to philanthropy one step further by signing the Giving Pledge. This is a public promise to give away the majority of their fortune while they are still alive.

“Our philanthropy has always been in our hearts and it was easy for us to look for ways to give back. Our philanthropy represents the bridge from our family to our community, from the past to the future, and from our passions to our convictions. It is also important to our family that perhaps our gifts will encourage others to give as well. The Giving Pledge certainly fulfills that goal.”

Readers, what do you think of Henry Samueli's rise from the son of immigrants to billionaire philanthropist? What organizations in Orange Country would you like to see him contribute to?

Please leave your comments below.

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