The concept began during World War II when CEOs such as Philip Reed of GE and William S. Knudsen of General Motors, offered their services to the government for free as a gesture in support of the war effort.
However, the federal government was forbidden to hire unpaid volunteers so they were offered $1, which is how they became known as the 'dollar-a-year men.'
In more recent years, Lee Iacocca of Chrysler made the gesture in solidarity after receiving a $1.5 billion federal loan. Steve Jobs reduced his salary for 10 years after returning to Apple.
Since then, the gesture has largely been a symbolic one when considering that salary is just a small part of the compensation received by the wealthiest CEOs. Stock options and bonuses far outweigh the salaries they give up.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and Square, are just two of the members of the $1 club.