Microsoft pioneer gives $65M for gay rights, HIV/AIDS groups - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Microsoft pioneer gives $65M for gay rights, HIV/AIDS groups

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Associated Press - February 24, 2008 5:35 PM ET

SEATTLE (AP) - The late Ric Weiland, 1 of the first five people to work at Microsoft Corp., has left $65 million to several gay rights and HIV/AIDS organizations.

The Pride Foundation of Seattle, where Weiland served as a board member for several years, says the philanthropist's estate has established a fund that would give $46 million over the next eight years to 10 national gay rights and HIV/AIDS groups.

Weiland also bequeathed $19 million directly to the Pride Foundation for scholarships and grants supporting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in the Pacific Northwest.

The Pride Foundation called it the largest single bequest ever given to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender causes.

All told, Weiland gave about $160 million - the bulk of his estate - to various charities, as well as Stanford University, his undergraduate alma mater; and Lakeside School, where he went to high school.

Weiland committed suicide two years ago at age 53 after a long battle with depression.

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