'Oprah': Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (officially) gives away $100 million on show

oprahImage Credit: George Burns/Harpo ProductionsWith the button-pushing Facebook movie The Social Network‘s premiere only a week away, the company’s real-life CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared on today’s Oprah Winfrey Show to donate $100 million to the Newark public school system. As Oprah ruefully noted during the segment — which also featured New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Newark mayor Corey Booker — the news had already leaked two days earlier, so some of the announcement’s impact was blunted. Still, it was undoubtedly a huge chunk of change for an often beleaguered city. (Booker said at one point that a full half of Newark’s public school kids don’t graduate high school.)

What I found interesting was that while The Social Network buzz was undoubtedly lingering in the background, the show was actually about a whole other movie that’s been making waves: Waiting for “Superman”. In fact, today was Oprah’s second show this week devoted to the lauded documentary about the crisis in American education. And the focus stayed there throughout, even as Oprah got a never-before-seen peek into Zuckerberg’s modest, rented house in Palo Alto, Calif., that he shares with his girlfriend. (Oprah briefly brought up the “unauthorized” Facebook movie without ever mention its title, and Zuckerberg shrugged it off, saying “It’s a movie. It’s fun. A lot of it is fiction. Even the filmmakers will say that.”) Another interesting wrinkle: Oprah noted that Zuckerberg had initially intended to make the donation anonymously, but that when she heard the news from Booker, she said “Is he crazy?” and convinced Zuckerberg to announce it publicly. She also explained the timing of the news, saying that it would have happened much earlier had it not been for her show’s airing schedule. Me, I couldn’t care less why Zuckerberg is donating so much — I just think it’s very cool he did.

Did you watch? Is Zuckerberg aligning himself with “Superman” and trying to ignore…the unauthorized Facebook movie? What are your thoughts on him post-announcement?

Read more:
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg to make a $100 million donation to Newark’s public schools
The full ‘Social Network’ trailer hits: Will you friend the Facebook movie this October?
‘The Social Network’ new commercial: Zuckerberg as mean Josh Lyman

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
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  • Julz

    I was suprised that he wanted to do it anonymously as well considering it’s a great PR move. That just made it all the much better in my book.

    • Rob

      This was a huge PR move. The movie is not. The movie questions his credibility of the true founder of facebook. Do you really think it’s a coincidence that he made this announcement of his philanthropic ways right before the movie comes out? He wanted to do it anonymously…HA. You people will believe whatever Oprah tells you. This is one big obvious (and probably smart given the gullibility and stupidity of americans) PR move.

      • lama

        First of all, who cares what his motive is; he is doing more good than 99.99999% of the world. Second, the timing has a lot more to do with another movie “waiting for superman” which is also coming out and the inspiration for Oprah’s show.

      • Mack

        Rob you are full of crap!!! Who cares why he decided to donate the money now? 100 million is a 100 million. Those kids could really use that money. So how about you and anyone else who is on here to complain to why he is donating NOW just STFU and appauld the man for his generous donation!!! Sure don’t see any of YOU here doing that? WHAT? Don’t have the money well there you go!!!

  • lama

    I think he’s fantastic. It’s none of anyone’s business what his motives are. He is doing good, so why even question it. So much jealousy of this very rich young man.

    • Jason

      Jealousy? Read the Vanity Fair article. (that’s a magazine by the way)

      • Mack

        REALLY??? How stupid of you to mention that. I am sure Lama is not as stupid as you are. Why are you on here to complain? Who cares if the man is not as great as he appears? He donated 100 million dollars to the school system for kids in need. Does it matter what his personal life or his attitude is? I think NOT!

  • richard r pieper sr

    Keep the dialog a priority , please —what could be more important read on , great WORK ! Yaaaaaaaaa

    ONE THING LEFT OUT OF THE DIALOG IS THE MORAL OR ETHICAL ELEMENT ESSENTIAL TO LEARNING . WITHOUT CHARACTER LIVES, DEMOCRACIES FAIL OR SO OUR FOUNDERS DETERMINED .

    THERE ARE EXTRAORDINARY STORIES TO BE TOLD OF NOT WHERE IT IS BEING DONE . The National and State Schools of Character tell the stories of how schools and school communities have soared in all environments , public ,private , choice , Charter ,faith based schools in rural ,urban ,suburban communities .

    Thank you thank you .

    Wicharacter.org videos can get you atarted .

  • jerry dowell jr

    Hi my name is jerry dowell Jr and me and my family are in need of a car we are a low income family are son is handicap and I’m disabled so I can’t work I get ssi wich pays my rent my girl friend need a break she works so hard to help out she is a great mom and I wish I could pay for her to have a day out her name is Melissa I hope to hear from you we love u so much

  • Michael Faber

    I also think he’s a remarkable young man. He has a great heart, he’s having a ball, and the fact that he got rich as a an accident of trying to meet girls is just plain cute. Hopefully he will be able to maintain that generous spirit as the years go by. As for his naysayers, pish I say and sour grapes. Rock on kid!

  • Miranda

    I second what lama said. Who cares if he’s doing it for publicity to do a little PR on his reputation. He donated *$100 million* to public schools! The gloves are off Rupert Murdock, wacha gonna do?

  • Jason

    His intentions are fantastic – unfortunately, Christie is an evil man who is using this for his own political gains. This money is going towards the destruction of public education — whether Zuckerman is aware of this or not is debatable. I would like to believe HIS intentions are good — I promise you Christie’s are not.

  • Geoff

    Too bad he decided to throw his money away into a system that doesn’t know how to manage it. What a waste.

  • katie

    amen Jason. As a New Jersey teacher, I can tell you that Christie is working hard to ruining the public school system. I’m overjoyed to hear what Zukerman has done, though. If anyone deserves it, it’s Newark. It’s just a shame that Christie will take even more money from education this year and fire even more teachers in order to “save money.”

    • Menchy

      If by “ruin” you mean actually hold teachers accountable for their actions and job performance and try and balance the budget and cut pay to the severely overfunded and underperforming inner city schools, then yeah, he’s really “ruining” it.

      • Anna

        Overfunded? Your brain was underperforming when you wrote that statement.

  • Alex

    Geoff and Katie, you hit the nail on the head. I’ve seen it, and the point of Waiting for Superman is that the education system in the U.S. is broken. You can throw billions of dollars at it, but if you don’t fix the system, it will be wasted money. I’m hoping the money will be used wisely, but if you’re right, then it will stay as a hollow PR move.

  • tracy bluth

    From what I’ve heard, “The Social Network” is very fictional- it casts him as an outcast when he was actually in a fraternity, things are made a lot more dramatic, etc.

  • Jason

    Katie – I’m a teacher in NJ also.

  • daniel

    Let the black kids fail. Let them live the values that are important to them, drugs,killing, and welfare checks. 100 million could have went to improving lavish white communities.the governement keeps giving the blacks money and they keep taking not putting any effort into getting a job. We must cut them off!

    • Trixie

      …………………………….

  • peggy

    100 million will help newark, but what about the rest of the country.

    • Anna

      Yes, because it’s Zuckerberg’s responsibilty to help the whole country.

  • rogerbatista0fc

    .. still talk that Mark is ill tempered, imagine if it was not …:º)

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