Keith Everett
secret billionaire

The Secret Billionaire Who Owns A $15 Watch And Gave His Fortune Away

The Story of Chuck Feeney

A Billionaire in Secret

Chuck Feeney made his fortune as the co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers, a global retail chain that operates duty-free shops in international airports. By the mid-1980s, Feeney was a billionaire. However, unlike many of his wealthy peers, Feeney lived a remarkably modest lifestyle. He kept his wealth a secret and chose to fly coach, live in a rented apartment, and wear a $15 watch.

Philanthropic Vision

Feeney had a vision of using his wealth to make a significant positive impact on the world. In 1982, he secretly transferred almost all of his fortune to his foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, with a mission to give it away during his lifetime. For years, Feeney’s philanthropy remained anonymous, as he quietly donated billions to education, public health, human rights, and scientific research.

Giving While Living

Feeney pioneered the idea of “Giving While Living,” believing that wealthy individuals should see the benefits of their philanthropy during their lifetimes rather than after death. His foundation supported various causes, from funding peace efforts in Northern Ireland to helping improve healthcare in Vietnam and boosting education in the United States.

Unveiling the Secret

Feeney’s secretive philanthropy was revealed in 1997 through the publication of “The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing” by Conor O’Clery. This revelation inspired many other wealthy individuals, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, to reconsider their approach to philanthropy.

Mission Accomplished

In 2020, at the age of 89, Feeney reached his goal of giving away his entire fortune. The Atlantic Philanthropies spent over $8 billion on various charitable causes, leaving Feeney with a retirement fund of $2 million. Feeney’s remarkable story of selfless giving and his commitment to improving the world have left a lasting legacy, illustrating the profound impact of one individual’s vision and generosity.

Chuck Feeney’s story is truly inspirational, showcasing how a millionaire’s commitment to philanthropy can change the world in extraordinary ways.

Many people knock the rich, they often accuse the rich of creating the poor. In truth, this is incorrect. Most Rich people are good people, they create jobs and on many occasions wealth for others. Charities would be worse off without the rich, as Billions of dollars are donated to many good causes for things like children’s hospitals, new cancer wards, healthcare equipment both home and abroad. The list is endless.

Is money the answer to every problem?. Of course not, however many problems are connected to the lack of money.