Booker said that it was only after long conversations between him, Winfrey and Zuckerberg's team that Zuckerberg decided to discard the anonymous gift option.
"Mark is a 26-year-old young man himself who has a big company that touches the lives of thousands of my residents already. We thought that would be something that would add momentum to what we're doing," he said.
Zuckerberg said the timing of the announcement followed the needs of Newark.
"The thing I was actually most sensitive about with the movie timing was I didn't want the press about 'The Social Network' movie to get conflated with the Newark project, so I was thinking about doing this anonymously just to make sure the two things could be kept separate," he said.
When asked by Winfrey earlier for his take on the movie, which was created without Facebook's participation, he reiterated his view that it's a work of mostly make-believe.
"It's a movie. It's fun. A lot of it is fiction, but even the filmmakers will say that. They're trying to build a good story," he said, adding jokingly, "This is my life so I know it's not that dramatic. … Maybe it would be fun to remember it as partying and all this crazy drama but who knows? Maybe it'll be an interesting story."
In a blog post published to Facebook during the show's taping, Zuckerberg said that education has always been an important issue to him and his family.
"Growing up, my parents emphasized the importance of learning and academic success. They both worked to make sure my three sisters and I could all go to good colleges. My grandmother was a teacher, and when my girlfriend graduated from college she became a teacher as well," he wrote.
During the news conference, he said that the "status quo path" would have been to wait until later in his life to launch philanthropic efforts, but that "after a while of thinking about it decided there's no reason to wait. We should start doing this now."
He said he committed to putting his Facebook stock into the new education foundation, which will then sell off the stock to raise cash. That money will fund the new and improved programs determined by Booker and Christie.
Despite the rare glimpse into his personal life and questions about the movie, Zuckerberg didn't lose focus on his chosen issue of the day: education.
"I started Facebook when I was in college at Harvard," he said. "I have no doubt that if I hadn't had that opportunity then I wouldn't be sitting here today."