At the beginning of the newsletter, we mentioned the obligation we all have to protect our senior citizens. Well one of those senior citizens is looking out for all of us with a lasting legacy gift. The billionaire founder of airport retailer Duty Free Shoppers, Charles “Chuck” Feeney, has just recently finished his goal of donating his incredible fortune before the end of his life and living out the rest of his days “broke.” At 89 years of age, Feeney has now given away $8 billion through a foundation of his own, Atlantic Philanthropies.
Taking four decades to accomplish, $3.7 billion has gone to funding educational endeavors as well as $870 million to human rights campaigns. Other causes he has contributed his wealth to include ending the death sentence in the U.S. and a grant to Cornell University for the construction of a new technological facility in New York City.
Now that nearly all of his fortune has been donated, Atlantic Philanthropies has closed down. Back in 2012, on the subject of his goal to go “broke” in order to help others, Feeney commented, “I concluded that if you hung on to a piece of the action for yourself you’d always be worrying about that piece…People used to ask me how I got my jollies, and I guess I’m happy when what I’m doing is helping people and unhappy when what I’m doing isn’t helping people.”
Forbes has noted that Feeney kept many of his donations anonymous and did his best not to publicize them. Feeney recently posted a video to the Atlantic Philanthropies website remarking on his philosophy for giving back:
“I see little reason to delay giving when so much good can be achieved through supporting worthwhile causes today…the world is so full of people who have less than they need…Each time you can address their problem, you help them to move forward and think that life can change, and I can change it.”
See you on the trail,