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George Lucas takes the Gates-Buffett giving pledge

George Lucas is one of 40 billionaires who have joined Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in pledging  most of their wealth to charity. It's not surprising considering Lucas' record of putting his movie's profits to good use.

Unlike most other blockbuster producers and directors, Lucas has poured his money into pioneering new frontiers of moviemaking. Before he sold it to Steve Jobs, Pixar was part of Lucasfilm's computer arm, while Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic, two other Lucasfilm divisions, have pushed the edge of the envelope in audio and special effects.

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Past Lucas philanthropic gifts included a donation of $180 million to USC's film school, his alma mater. For nearly two decades his George Lucas Educational Foundation and Edutopia have been promoting creativity and innovation in teaching.

His "giving pledge" (to read it in full, click here) begins with the statement that "a good storyteller is ultimately a teacher -- using the arts as a means of making education emotionally meaningful." It climaxes with the vow, "I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race."

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Clearly, Lucas has never forgotten Yoda's gnomic insight, "Always in motion is the future." He concludes, "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."

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