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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » DAILY CHRONICLE™ » He Gave Away $600 Million, and No One Knew

He Gave Away $600 Million, and No One Knew

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Jayashantha

Jayashantha
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Over the last 15 years, a businessman from New Jersey has given away more than $600 million to universities, medical centers and other beneficiaries -- but has done it in such secrecy that most recipients never learned who their benefactor was.

The donor, Charles F. Feeney, who made his fortune with a string of duty-free airport shops, covered his tracks so well that business magazines for years have estimated his net worth in the billions, not realizing that he had transferred most of his assets to his two charitable foundations and is actually worth less than $5 million.

After years of secrecy, Mr. Feeney, who is 65, agreed this week to discuss his gifts because the duty-free stores were sold this month to the company that makes Moet & Chandon Champagne, and a lawsuit over the sale would have revealed his anonymous donations.

Mr. Feeney -- who has both Irish and American citizenship and has also made many gifts to Irish groups, including personal donations to Sinn Fein, the I.R.A.'s political wing -- was matter-of-fact in describing why he had given away his fortune. ''I simply decided I had enough money,'' he said. ''It doesn't drive my life. I'm a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy.''

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/01/23/nyregion/he-gave-away-600-million-and-no-one-knew.html



Last edited by Jayashantha on Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Article source URL dropped)

Kithsiri

Kithsiri
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Being able to float one's bread on water is a noble thing and this story adds more due to the secrecy involved in the acts.
We as ordinary people with egos want to see our names on posters and plaques etc whenever philanthropically bug bites us.
Thanks for sharing.  Very Happy 

Jayashantha

Jayashantha
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
Senior Manager - Equity Analytics
@Kithsiri wrote:Being able to float one's bread on water is a noble thing and this story adds more due to the secrecy involved in the acts.
We as ordinary people with egos want to see our names on posters and plaques etc whenever philanthropically bug bites us.
Thanks for sharing.  Very Happy 

Definitely. Most philanthropists are still driven by their egos. But this is Chuck Feeny's way is the true meaning of generosity. Smile 

K.Haputantri

K.Haputantri
Co-Admin
Remember, the donees include IRA & Irish groups (former terrorist group in UK). That may have been the reason for secracy. Must examine the list of donees to see if LTTE also included.

Kithsiri

Kithsiri
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
Senior Vice President - Equity Analytics
I doubt.
He was not a Tiger fan (Wants to kill the Celtic Tiger).  Very Happy 
@K.Haputantri wrote:Remember, the donees include IRA & Irish groups (former terrorist group in UK). That may have been the reason for secracy. Must examine the list of donees to see if LTTE also included.

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