The Billionaire Who Wasn't: How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away a Fortune
In this tale of one of the greatest untold retail triumphs of the 20th century, O'Clery recounts how Chuck Feeney, founder of Duty Free Shoppers, the worlds largest duty-free retail chain, made--and then gave away--a fortune without anyone knowing.
The astonishing life of the modest New Jersey businessman who anonymously gave away 10 billion dollars and inspired the "giving while living" movement. In this bestselling book, Conor O'Clery reveals the inspiring life story of Chuck Feeney, known as the "James Bond of philanthropy." Feeney was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to a blue-collar Irish-American family during the Depression. After service in the Korean War, he made a fortune as founder of Duty Free Shoppers, the world's largest duty-free retail chain. By 1988, he was hailed by Forbes Magazine as the twenty-fourth richest American alive. But secretly Feeney had already transferred all his wealth to his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies. Only in 1997 when he sold his duty free interests, was he "outed" as one of the greatest and most mysterious American philanthropists in modern times, who had anonymously funded hospitals and universities from San Francisco to Limerick to New York to Brisbane. His example convinced Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to give away their fortunes during their lifetime, known as the giving pledge.