LONDON - He wears a $15 watch, flies economy class and does not own a house or car. For years. few guessed that Chuck Feeney was one of the world's biggest philanthropists, secretly giving away his billionaire fortune.
Born in New Jersey during the Depression to a blue-collar Irish-American family, Feeney co-founded Duty Free Shoppers (DFS), the world's largest duty-free retail chain. He liked making money but not having it, and gave it away for years in strict secrecy.
Journalist Conor O'Clery's new book "The Billionaire Who Wasn't: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune" (Public Affairs $26.95), reveals that Feeney may be destined to go down in history as one of the greatest American philanthropists.
Story continues below ↓advertisement
Witty, self-deprecating, frugal and astute, Feeney was listed by Forbes Magazine in 1988 as the 23rd richest American alive and worth $1.3 billion, richer than Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump. He wasn't.
Four years earlier, Feeney had placed most of his money in charitable foundations.
Inspired by the great 19th century philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, Feeney helped fund schools, hospitals, universities, medical research and human rights from the United States and Ireland to South Africa and Vietnam.
'I set out to work hard, not to get rich'
"I had one idea that never changed in my mind — that you should use your wealth to help people. I try to live a normal life, the way I grew up," Feeney said. "I set out to work hard, not to get rich."
Feeney made money in his youth selling Christmas cards door-to-door, clearing snow from driveways and caddying at golf courses. He loved the challenge of making money but had little use for it.
After serving as a U.S. Air Force radio operator in Japan during the Korean war, he graduated from Cornell University and launched his career selling duty-free liquor to American sailors at Mediterranean ports in the 1950s.
The business expanded rapidly to embrace airport duty free concessions. By the late 1960s business was booming thanks to sales of duty free from Anchorage to Hong Kong. Over the decades his fortune mushroomed and so did his determination to give it away.
He rejected the trappings of the jet set, giving his money away to worthy causes with the same alacrity with which he had built one of the biggest retail empires of the 20th century.
Feeney kept his generosity secret for years, saying he did not want to "blow my own horn" or discourage others from giving to the same deserving causes.
Only in 1997 when his founding share in DFS was sold was his generosity revealed to the world. He came to the conclusion that his story should be told to promote giving while living.
The Atlantic Philanthropies, co-founded by Feeney, has given away $4 billion in a quarter of a century, including over $2 billion in the United States, more than $1 billion in Ireland, as well as large sums in Vietnam, Australia, South Africa, Thailand and Cuba, according to O'Clery's book.
Now in his mid 70s, Feeney is determined his foundation should spend its remaining fortune in his lifetime and is fond of a Gaelic proverb to explain the sense of urgency.
"There are no pockets in a shroud."
Thursday, October 11, 2007
EUROPE'S FINEST TOPLESS HONEYS
"Intelligence is the capacity to receive, decode and transmit information efficiently. Stupidity is blockage of this process at any po...
Pat Venditte is a minor league pitcher with the Staten Island Yankees. He was selected in the 20th round of the 2008 draft with the 620th ov...
Ava Fiore is a Playboy model and 2002 Golden Gloves champion boxer. She was arrested on Wednesday night on I 80 east in Kimball, Nebraska. P...
Wow Paulina still very perky at 44 ! Read about Paulas interesting childhood escaping the iron curtain THE NILES LESH PROJECT - ALL...
Donald Trump, a co-owner of “Miss USA”, “Miss Universe” and “Miss Teen USA” pageants, has come up with a new reality TV show which will take...
Missed it ? - The Archives !
- ► 2010 (80)
- ► 2009 (319)
- ► 2008 (1240)
- LISTBUMS - WORST HALLOWEEN CANDIES
- DOUG STANHOPE - GENERATION SUCK
- CLELEBRITY HALLOWEEN COSTUME CHALLENGE
- HELLO? YES I WILL NOT BE IN WORK TODAY...
- DAILY SHOW - CALIFORNIA FIRES IN REVIEW
- THE UNSEEN DANGER OF CHEERLEADING
- WHICH CANDIDATE HAS THE HOTTEST WIFE ?
- KIM KARDASHIAN HAS FINALLY ARRIVED !
- AMBUSHED ! "JANET JACKSON - TYLER PERRY "
- HOW FUNNY IS CONAN OBRIEN ???
- THE MISSISSIPPI MIRACLE 15 LATERAL TD !
- KOREAN PROTESTERS - NOW THAT'S A FIRE !!!
- AXIS OF EVIL COMEDY TOUR "ARABS & PERSIANS "
- SCARY HALLOWEEN PRANK ON TV ANCHORS
- HEY DICK ! " WAKE UP " ! ! !
- CRAZY NEW HALLOWEEN CANDIES
- CLASSIC 1970'S HORROR MOVIE TRAILERS
- THE GOVERNATOR OUTWITS A REPORTER !
- Human race will 'split into two different species'...
- HALLE BERRY'S GOT TWO NEW FRIENDS !
- KIM KARDASHIAN- PLAYBOY SPREAD COMING SOON !
- HOW TO MAKE A SCARY POLITICAL AD ?
- STEPHEN COLBERT - LOSING IT 2003
- HERE COMES COMET 17P HOLMES ! ! !
- THE HEAD CRUSHER vs THE FACE PINCHER !
- TRUMP HAS PIMPED REALITY TV AGAIN !
- GUILTY - Barmaid crushed cans with breasts ! ! !
- GISELE BUNDCHEN - ON THE BEACH
- MENA SUVARI - TOPLESS B&W SPREAD
- SOFIE MONK - NEW SEXY PETA AD ! ! !
- SALMA HAYEK - BREASTS FROM GOD ?
- AL BUNDY - FAT WOMAN MONTAGE
- BILL "NICK WINTERS" MURRAY - STAR WARS
- SCARLETT JOHANNSON - JUST PLAIN PRETTY ?
- INTERGALACTIC ANAL PROBING ALIENS ! ! !
- HOW TELEVISION REALLY WORKS ???
- BILL MAHER DONT PLAY THAT !!!
- FREE PSYCHIC ENERGY READINGS ???
- THE EXTREME MORMON PITCH ???
- AN ONLINE DATING EXPERIENCE ???
- FUN WITH MIRRORS AND TWINS ! ! !
- KELLY BROOK HAS SOMETHING FOR SALE ?
- GREG BRADY STONED ???
- I WOULD SHAVE MY MUFF FOR YOU !
- RUNWAY MODEL FALLS IN HOLE ???
- SARAH JESSICA PARKER - BRIDE OF FRANKENSTIEN ?
- POPE JOHN PAUL II IS BACK FOR HALLOWEEN
- LUCY PINDER - 2008 CALENDAR PHOTOS
- A SHORT HISTORY OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS
- 1938 CARTOON ANIMATION TECHNIQUES
- EWAN MACGREGOR - HOOKED AGAIN ???
- ROSE MCGOWAN - ABOVE MAG - COLOR SPREAD
- WHAT DOES DENNIS KUCINICH HAVE IN HIS POCKETS ?
- ROSE MCGOWAN - "ABOVE MAG" B&W SPREAD
- LINDSAY LOHAN - APPARENTLY BROKE ???
- 59 YEAR OLD COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER !
- KATE MOSS - SEXY SEE THROUGH !
- Si te gusta el sexo oral, vote por Caragol por con...
- WORST CELEBRITY PLASTIC SURGERY
- ATTENTION ! ADMEN WANTED IMMEDIATE OPENINGS
- ONLY IN NYC BABY- "GET THE F*CK OUT OF MY OFFICE" ...
- ARE YOU INJURED, UNEMPLOYED OR DRUNK ?
- EVA MENDES - NEW MAXIM SPREAD
- People Who's Sheer Presence Makes Normal Situation...
- SOUTHPARK -RANDY'S WORLD RECORD CRAP ?
- LEFT BRAIN OR RIGHT BRAIN ???
- A-ROD LOOKING AT 500 MILLION OVER 10 YEARS ?
- WHAT'S THE NAME OF THAT SONG ???
- THE ULTIMATE TALENT COMPETITION ???
- WTF - AN EAR FOR ART ???
- HUGH GRANT PARTIES WITH COEDS ! ! !
- TARA REID - FHM "THE POWER OF PHOTOSHOP" ?
- NEW MARINE RECRUITING AD WITH DISCLAIMERS
- CHARLIZE THERON -SEXY WOMAN SILLY NAME
- Billionaire has given away an estimated $4 billion...
- CHICKEN FRIED BACON ???
- LINDSAY LOHAN - CLEAN, SOBER &TOTALLY BRAINWASHED ...
- THE HISTORY OF THE "WILHELM SCREAM"
- OH REALLY, SENATOR CRAIG, REALLY ?
- ANGELINE JOLIE - ARTY NEW SPREAD
- BRITNEY DANCES NAKED FOR HERSELF ?
- GISELE BUNDCHEN- HOTTEST YET IN ITALIAN GQ
- J - LO CAN STILL DANCE "PREGNANT" WITH TWINS !
- A DAY IN THE LIFE OF BRITNEY SPEARS ?
- BRITNEY SPEARS - BLACKOUT ???
- BASE JUMPING - BELIEVE A MAN CAN FLY ?
- JAPANESE TV- TABLE CLOTH YANKING
- THE CRUSHER - TALKING POINTS ?
- HILLARY CLINTON -WHAT'S SO FUNNY ???
- BEAR WITH SQUEAKY TOY
- PARIS HILTON - CELEBRITY TOPLESS SHOPPING ?
- ROCKIES SWEEP PHILLIES
- 300 KPH ON THE AUTOBAHN ! ! !
- VATICAN ISSUES A TEMPLAR PROPOGANDA PIECE?
- SAY IT LOUD - I AM REPUBLICAN AND PROUD !
- WHY SOUTHPARK HATES THE FAMILY GUY ?
- ANGELINE JOLIE - PARK AVENUE MAGAZINE
- MAXIM MAGAZINE- 2007 HOMETOWN HOTTIES
- HELEN MIRREN - SEXY, 62, TOPLESS IN GQ !
- MILLA JOVOVICH - ABOUT 70 POUNDS AGO
- ▼ October (112)