Chuck Feeney–The Duty Free King who Gave it All Away


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Charles “Chuck” Feeney (born April 23, 1931) is an Irish-American businessman who made his fortune from pioneering Duty Free Shopping

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He is also an important philanthropist who founded The Atlantic Philanthropies, one of the largest private foundations in the world. Among many of the countries his money has been spent/invested in is his home country, Ireland. He is known as the Billionaire Who Made It, Then Gave It Away!”  He is regarded as a huge influence in the life of Bill Gates, who set up the Giving Pledge Global charitable organization. In February 2011, Feeney actually became a signatory to The Giving Pledge. In his letter to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the founders of The Giving Pledge, he says of his pledge ” I cannot think of a more personally rewarding and appropriate use of wealth”

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Chuck Feeney & Bill Gates

“I cannot think of a more personally rewarding and appropriate use of wealth than to give while one is living — to personally devote oneself to meaningful efforts to improve the human condition.”

He made his fortune as a co-founder of the Duty Free Shoppers Group, which pioneered the concept of duty-free shopping. Feeney gave away his fortune in secret for many years, until a business dispute resulted in his identity being revealed in 1997. Over the course of his life, Feeney has given away more than $8 billion.

He has donated around $1 billion to education in Ireland, such as the University of Limerick and Dublin City University. Feeney has also given to political parties and has provided substantial personal donations to Sinn- Féin in working to support the peace effort in Ireland. He has also supported the modernization of public-health structures in Vietnam.

Brendan O’Regan established the world’s first duty-free shop at Shannon Airport in Ireland in 1947 it remains in operation today

Chuck Feeney – the Secret Irish-American Billionaire who gave it all away

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