Walter Annenberg turns 83 Wednesday, but he marked his birthday early by announcing plans to give $1 billion worth of masterpieces to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

"It is my intention that all my paintings should go to the Metropolitan Museum," said Annenberg, the former U.S. ambassador to London and founder of TV Guide and Seventeen magazines. "I love them with a passion and I want them to stay together after I'm gone."The collection, which will go to the museum after Annenberg's death, includes more than 50 works by Manet, Degas, Monet, Renoir, Toulouse Lautrec, Cezanne, van Gogh, Seurat, Gauguin, Bonnard, Vuillard, Matisse, Picasso and Braque.

Leading museums around the nation had been hoping to get the collection, which has been on a national tour lately.