Man donates his entire fortune of $8 billion before passing away at the age of 92: 'Everybody's hero'

He was one of the fortunate few who was able to amass fortune before deciding to live a simple life and eventually give away everything he has.

A significant number of individuals become extremely wealthy, but not many are as fortunate as Charles Francis Feeney, who ultimately donated all of his life's earnings. According to The New York Times, Feeney, who founded duty-free stores all over the world and was an expert investor in tech start-ups, died away on October 9, 2023, at the age of 92. But before he passed away quietly in his San Francisco home, he gave away all $8 billion of his fortune to charitable organizations.

The revelation was initially announced to the public on the website of Feeney's foundation group, the Atlantic Philanthropies, which was founded and has been sponsored by Feeney since the early 1980s. Even though he was extremely wealthy, Feeney spent his final days in a small rental unit. When Feeney gave $7 million to Cornell University, his alma school, in 2016, it made headlines. For the student's community service project, it was. By making this contribution, Feeney fulfilled his promise to donate all of his riches before passing away and formally closed the accounts of Atlantic Philanthropies.

The publication claims that the former millionaire only kept $2 million for himself after leading a modest life for 60 years as he labored to grow his company. "Chuck Feeney is an incredible inspiration and the epitome of giving while you are still alive," Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates stated to Forbes in 2012. In 2014, Feeney received a Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award from Warren Buffett, who described him as "my hero and Bill Gates's hero—he should be everybody's hero," according to Forbes. In contrast to other donors, Feeney made the decision to give money in secret to a variety of organizations, including human rights organizations, colleges, and hospitals.

Among the places he worked to better people's lives via philanthropy were the US, Vietnam, South Africa, Australia, Israel, and Jordan. He used to travel to Northern Ireland often for charitable work, and since he was Irish-American, he was more forthcoming about it. In 2007, he received an invitation to participate with the presidents of the United States, Britain, and Ireland at the start of a government that shared power in Belfast. He used to give cashier's checks to institutions for the majority of his gifts, and the recipients would be told that the giver was an anonymous, kind individual.

Being reared in a working-class family that suffered throughout the Great Depression, Feeney had a challenging upbringing. After serving in the Air Force, he studied hotel management and started working in duty-free retail. He had put around $35 million into start-ups in the software industry, retail stores, property transactions, hotels, and apparel by the 1980s. But his comfortable existence was not actually providing him with any peace of mind. In his biography of Mr. Feeney, "The Billionaire Who Wasn't," Conor O'Clery said, "He was beginning to have doubts about his right to have so much money."

Feeney abandoned his opulent way of life and began to live a modest existence. "All Feeney's instincts, instilled in him by the example of his parents, by the sharing culture of his blue-collar upbringing in New Jersey, by his desire not to distance himself from his boyhood neighbors and friends, and by his own innate kindness and concern for others, undoubtedly shaped his decision," O'Clery continued.

Finally, in 1997, Feeney and a partner sold their stake in Duty-Free Shoppers to Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, revealing his pseudonym as a humanitarian gesture. According to court documents, his $1.5 billion stake belongs to a Bermuda-based benefactor who has been giving out money in secret for the last fifteen years. In reality, it was Feeney. He is the kind of guy that the world will never forget, nor the charity with which he helped people in need during his lifetime.

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