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