George Lucas pledges half his wealth to charity

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

All that money we spent on Star Wars action figures? We just learned it's going to a good cause. Because Bill Gates and Warren Buffett—who've got a combined net worth of $90 billion—figured they could change the world by convincing the wealthiest people in the U.S. to donate most of their fortunes to charity. And one of those 38 other billionaires who said "Sign me up!" ... was George Lucas.

Lucas—along with Barry Diller, Ted Turner and others—signed The Giving Pledge, which is "an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice either during their lifetime or after their death."

In an open letter, Lucas wrote:

As long as I have the resources at my disposal, I will seek to raise the bar for future generations of students of all ages.

I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race. We have to plan for our collective future - and the first step begins with the social, emotional, and intellectual tools we provide to our children. As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt - as educators, storytellers, and communicators our responsibility is to continue to do so.

(Check out the full text of his letter here.)

Thanks, George! It almost makes having watched The Phantom Menace worthwhile!

(via msnbc)