Secret Billionaire: The Chuck Feeney Story

Published on 9th November 2017 by

The incredible story of Chuck Feeney, an Irish-American business man who became a billionaire after pioneering the idea of duty-free shopping but spent years secretly giving away his fortune. It wasn’t until 1997 that his philanthropy came to light in court documents during a legal dispute, over the course of his life Feeney has given away over $8 billion and never sought publicity for his generosity or praise for his business achievements.

Feeney has lived a frugal life living in a modest rented apartment and flying economy-class, but is the founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies – one of the largest private foundations in the world. He started the foundation in 1982 as a means through which to redistribute his wealth to worthy causes anonymously until he was forced to reveal his identity fifteen years later. His donations include over $1 billion to fund education in Ireland, nearly $1 billion to Cornell University, and significant sums to help fund public health infrastructure in Vietnam. He have away his last $7 million in 2016 at the age of 85.


Feeney’s life, business career and philanthropy is also covered in the 2013 biographical book The Billionaire Who Wasn’t, written by Conor O’Clery and available to purchase in paperback, hardcover, kindle and audio book formats.

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