Irish American billionaire Charles “Chuck” Feeney, has intentionally gone “broke” after donating all of his wealth to charities. The 89-year-old, who amassed billions as the co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers, made a life-long pledge to donate every penny of his wealth before he dies, and has done just that, Forbes reports.
As of this week, Feeney became officially broke as his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, went out of business after giving away more than $8 billion to charitable causes worldwide over the span of 40 years…in most cases anonymously.
On Monday, Feeney signed documents marking the end of Atlantic Philanthropies from San Francisco in a Zoom ceremony attended by his wife and the foundation’s board members. Bill Gates and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on behalf of the U.S. Congress, sent in messages thanking Feeney for his work.
Chuck Feeney, gave away $8 billion (N3 trillion) to charities, universities and organisations worldwide via his Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies.
The business man was popular for leading the way in philanthropic living. The report suggests that he believed in the idea of ‘Giving While Living’.
The idea encourages philanthropists to spend all their money during their own life-time to have better control over its use. In an interview with Forbes, the business tycoon said that he was, in fact, very happy and satisfied. Under his Giving While Living vision, he has been able to do some hands-on charity and did not have to rely on funding a foundation post-death.
The billionaire added that he learned a lot along his journey and the idea of why not give it all (the wealth) away had struck as very appealing to him. He wanted to do it under his watch.
Feeney has been estimated to leave about $2 million (N767 million) for his and his wife’s retirement and was said to have given all his money anonymously and made sure it stayed that way. He currently resides in an apartment in San Francisco