Chuck Feeney Net Worth
Chuck Feeney net worth: Chuck Feeney is an Irish-American businessman and philanthropist who has a net worth of $1.5 million. Chuck Feeney is quietly one of the most-significant human beings in modern history. At his peak Chuck's net worth was over $8 billion. For decades he secretly gave away vast chunks of his fortune. In 1997 his philanthropic deeds were exposed as a result of a business dispute. After his identity was revealed, Chuck became more public about his giving philosophies. He became globally famous as the "billionaire who wanted to die broke," and has also been described as "the James Bond of philanthropy."
By 2016 he had given away all but roughly $2 million of his former multi-billion dollar fortune and was living in a rented San Francisco apartment.
For much of his career Chuck flew coach, did not own a car and wore a $10 Casio watch.
Upon signing The Giving Pledge himself in 2011, Chuck stated:
"I cannot think of a more personally rewarding and appropriate use of wealth than to give while one is living—to personally devote oneself to meaningful efforts to improve the human condition. More importantly, today's needs are so great and varied that intelligent philanthropic support and positive interventions can have greater value and impact today than if they are delayed when the needs are greater."
On Chuck's world-changing philanthropy, Warren Buffett stated:
"He is a model for all of us. It's going to take me 12 years after my death to get done what he's doing within his lifetime."
Early Life: Charles Francis Feeney was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey in April 1931. He attended St. Mary of the Assumption High School which he would later credit as the inspiration for his charitable spirit. In 2016 he donated $250,000 to St. Mary, the largest contribution from a single individual in the school's history.
During the Korean War he served in the Air Force as a radio operator. It was during his time in the military when he began selling duty-free liquor to serviceman in the 1950s.
After the war Feeney attended Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration in the G.I. bill.
Career: In the 1950s, Feeney and his college roommate Robert Warren Miller started selling liquor and cigars to American serviceman around Asia. At the time the concept of duty-free shopping – offering high-end tax-free goods to travelers – was not a known concept around the globe.
Miller and Feeney eventually expanded into cars, tobacco and more.
Duty Free Shoppers Group: On November 7, 1960 Chuck and Robert co-founded Duty Free Shoppers Group, also known as the DFS Group. The company initially its efforts in Hong Kong, soon expanding to Europe then the world.
A major breakthrough happened in the early 1960s when DFS won the exclusive right to operate duty-free concessions in the state of Hawaii. Japanese travelers soon began loading up on liquor and cigarettes on their journeys.
Over time DFS expanded away from airports, opening locations in regular malls mainly in Asia. Throughout the 1990s, Chuck and Richard both took home $300 million per year in profit dividends.
Company Sale: In 1996 Chuck and Robert sold DFS to Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH). Feeney's cut of the sale was $1.63 billion. Well, technically Feeney was not the beneficiary of the sale…
Secret Philanthropist: In 1984 Chuck secretly transferred 100% of his business assets, most notably his 39% ownership interest in DFS, to a philanthropic foundation he established called Atlantic Philanthropies. Through the foundation Chuck began giving away hundreds of millions of dollars without ever seeking credit. In fact, his preference was to remain completely anonymous.
Chuck's anonymity was exposed thanks to the sale of DFS to LVMH. Chuck's longtime partner Robert Warren Miller opposed the sale. Miller sued to block the sale, claiming that Chuck didn't actually have the right to negotiate the deal since he didn't technically own DFS. Atlantic Philanthropies was the actual owner. The lawsuit exposed Feeney's identity as the man who had been secretly donating vast sums of money to various causes.
Atlantic Philanthropies wasn't just a donation machine, it was also an investment fund that would up buying early stakes in tech companies like Priceline, E-Trade and Facebook that would increase exponentially in value.
Feeney has given more than $1 billion to his alma mater, Cornell University. He gave $350 million to establish Cornell's New York City Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island. In December 2020 Cornell renamed the road that goes through the center of campus from East Avenue to Feeney Way.
He donated over $1 billion to educational causes in Ireland. He gave around $900 million to various human rights and social causes. He gave over $700 million to health-related causes including a $270 million gift to improve healthcare in Vietnam.
At the peak of its giving, Atlantic Philanthropies employed more than 300 people in 10 global offices.
Chuck ultimately gave away more than $8 billion. Atlantic Philanthropies was closed down in September 2020 after accomplishing its mission of giving away all of Chuck's money.
Personal Life: Chuck has been married twice. He had four daughters with his first wife Danielle. His second wife Helga was at one point his secretary.
|Net Worth:||$1.5 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Apr 23, 1931 (91 years old)|
|Nationality:||United States of America|