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