The Billionaire Who Wasn't

The Billionaire Who Wasn't

How Chuck Feeney Secretly Made and Gave Away A Fortune

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the life of Chuck Feeney, who earned a fortune as co-founder of the world's largest duty-free shopping chain then donated almost all of his wealth to a philanthropic fund because of his moral convictions.

Perseus Publishing
In 1988 Forbes Magazine hailed Chuck Feeney as the twenty-third richest American alive. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey to a blue-collar Irish-American family during the Depression, a veteran of the Korean War, he had made a fortune as co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers, the world's largest duty-free retail chain. But secretly, Feeney had already transferred all his wealth to his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies. Only in 1997, when he sold his duty free interests, was he "outed" as one of the greatest and most mysterious American philanthropists in modern times. A frugal man who travels economy class and does not own a house or a car, Feeney then went "underground" again, until he decided in 2005 to cooperate in a biography to promote giving-while-living. Now in his mid-seventies, he is determined his foundation should spend the remaining $4 billion in his lifetime. The Billionaire Who Wasn't is a tale of one of the greatest untold retail triumphs of the twentieth century, and of what happens to a unique man and his family when confronted with wealth beyond imagining.

The secret life of the billionaire who is determined to give all his money away before he dies?it's harder than you think!

& Taylor

Furnishes an intriguing portrait of the secret life of Chuck Feeney, one of America's wealthiest men, whose frugal lifestyle belies his determination to give away his money before his death and who transferred his entire fortune to his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, in order to achieve his goal.

Publisher: New York : Public Affairs, c2007
ISBN: 9781586483913
Characteristics: xiv, 337 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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Dec 21, 2013

I got half-way through this, and it was fairly interesting. I found it a little over-detailed in how Feeney made his money, and a little under-detailed in his reasons for giving that money to universities (and I think to other worthy-of-supporting projects and charities), and doing so anonymously.

Feb 19, 2013

This is a very interesting book on enterpreneurship and giving. Have made lots of money in his duty-free business. Chuck Feeney decided his life worth be better served if he gave all his money away while he was alive. It is a truly fascinating book.


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