Billionaire Finishes Giving Away All His Money: Chuck Feeney Biography, Wiki, Age
Charles “Chuck” Feeney is a California former billionaire who intentionally went “broke” after donating all of his wealth to charities.
The 89-year-old, amassing billions as the co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers, made a life-long pledge to donate every penny of his wealth before he dies, Forbes reported.
Meet the man who inspired @TheGivingPledge and gave away $8 Billon
General Atlantic founder, Chuck Feeneyhttps://t.co/c26ngWGmLf
— Bill SPACman 📈 (@BillSPACman) September 17, 2020
And this month, Feeney did just that.
Over the past 40 years, the billionaire donated more than $ 8 billion through his Atlantic Philanthropies organization to foundations, schools and charities around the world, the outlet continued.
The San Francisco resident marked the end of his four-decade mission on Sept. 14, formally signing paperwork to dissolve his philanthropy, Forbes said.
The ceremony was conducted via zoom and featured video messages and letters from the likes of Bill Gates, former California Governor Jerry Brown, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, all of whom thanked him for his service, continued the medium.
“We learned a lot. We would do some things differently, but I am very satisfied. I feel great completing this on my shift, ”Feeney told Forbes. “My thanks to everyone who joined us on this journey. And for those wondering about Giving while living: Give it a try, you’ll like it. ”
In 1931, Feeney was born into an Irish-American family in Elizabeth, New Jersey, according to the Atlantic Philanthropies website.
Her mother was a nurse and her father wrote the insurance, the organization continued.
Feeney was the first in his family to attend college, landing at Cornell University after a four-year stint as a radio operator for US Air Force intelligence.
Through Atlantic Philanthropies, Feeney donated more than $ 8 billion over the past 40 years to charities, universities and foundations around the world, Forbes reported.
Feeney was inspired by his mother’s “charitable drive” to found The Atlantic Foundation, the first of The Atlantic Philanthropies, in 1982, according to his biography of Atlantic Philanthropies.
Although he has since donated more than $ 8 billion worldwide, he never wanted the recognition, the organization continues.
“However, there was a problem: Feeney wanted Atlantic donations to be anonymous,” says his bio.
Forbes magazine called Feeney the “James Bond of philanthropy.”
Feeney co-founded the retail giant with Robert Miller in 1960, according to Atlantic Philanthropies. The company now operates 11 major airports and 20 Galleria stores, CNN added.
In 2017, approximately 160 million travelers visited Duty Free Shoppers locations, the outlet continued.
“In 1984, he secretly transferred all of his assets, including his 38.75 percent ownership of the tax-free business, to the Atlantic Philanthropies,” The New York Times reported. “He grew the Atlantic pot with early investments in companies like Facebook, Priceline, E-Trade, Alibaba and Legent.”
Feeney was forced to reveal his charitable donations in 1997 following a business dispute, according to Atlantic Philanthropies.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) July 21, 2017
In July 2017, Bill Gates tweeted that Feeney was one of his “heroes” and wrote: “@atlantic founder Chuck Feeney is one of my heroes. I’ve learned a lot from their ‘give while living’ philosophy. ”
Forbes reported that Feeney’s generous nature was the inspiration behind Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge in 2010, which encourages the wealthy to donate at least half of their wealth before they die.
“Chuck was a cornerstone in terms of inspiration for the Giving Pledge,” Buffett told the outlet. “He is a model for all of us. It will take me 12 years after my death to do what he is doing during his life. ”
Despite his acquired wealth, Feeney lives in a “modest” rental apartment in San Francisco with his wife, Helga, according to The Irish Times.
The New York Times added that the billionaire traveled alone by coach until he was 75.
“Until he was 75 years old, he traveled alone by coach and carried reading material in a plastic bag,” the newspaper reported.
“For many years when I was in New York, I would eat lunch not in the fancy restaurants in the city, but in the cozy confines of Tommy Makem’s Irish Pavilion on East 57th Street, where he ate the burgers.”