The story of Charles Feeney, the founder of Duty Free. His dream was always to run out of his fortune.
Charles Feeney He is a 92-year-old American businessman who decided to donate his fortune of 8 billion dollars to humanitarian causes, vowed to be left with nothing and die broke. He now lives without luxuries, in total austerity.
Money that you never used to provide a lifestyle commensurate with your income. You do not own a house or a car and is famous for wearing a watch that was bought for only 15 dollars. “I had an idea that never left my mind: that you should use your wealth to help people”the philanthropist often said.
What’s unique about Feeney is that he did it anonymously. Her dream was always to donate her millions to charitable causes. In addition, despite her high net worth, she never spent on luxuries or mansions. And she complied. He donated his entire fortune for several years, until 2016, when he kept what was just and necessary.
The bulk of his fortune was obtained when, in 1960, he changed his business: he decided that the stores he used to sell products to the US military traveling to Europe would become duty-free stores. Thus he created, together with his partner Robert Miller, a business empire that all those who have ever taken a plane will have helped to build. His company, Duty Free Shoppers (DFS), today employs more than 9,000 people worldwide.
However, beyond his business successes, what Charles Feeney was really interested in was helping others and he began to donate money to different associations and projects all over the planet. Feeney traveled the world with his business, but he took the opportunity to learn about the needs of different groups to which, in a secret and disinterested way, he delivered large amounts of money.
His biographer, Conor O’Clery, claims that Feeney’s life changed after reading ‘Wealth’, the work of a famous American philanthropist named Andrew Carnegie which is also known as ‘The Gospel of Wealth’. Some phrases like “to die rich is to die in disgrace” they made change to Charles Feeney.
When he turned 50, the business magnate decided to create a foundation to channel his donations. Thus, in 1982 The Atlantic Philanthropies was born, an NGO dedicated to distribute your fortune around the world through donations to the most diverse causes.
However, during the first 15 years of its existence, these donations continued to be made in secret, which is why some people hung on it the nickname of being the James Bond of philanthropy. Now, at 89, Charles Feeney can look back and take pride in what he did with his life.
As published by the BBC, his philanthropic organization will cease to exist at the end of this year because it fulfilled its purpose: to give all his money to just causes while he was alive. In total, about 8,000 million dollars, more than 7,000 million euros in exchange.
The cause closest to his heart was education and he received the highest percentage of donations. Cornell University, her alma mater, has received nearly a billion dollars over the years for projects like building a tech campus.
Another 870 million dollars were allocated to social causes focused on human rights. He donated $62 million in grants to groups working to abolish the death penalty in the United States and $76 million to campaigns promoting Obamacare.
Health was another of the great causes that Feeney turned his attention to. She donated more than $700 million in aid to this sector, including a $270 million grant to improve the public health system in Vietnam and a $176 million check to the Institute for Global Brain Health at the University of California, San Francisco.
Charles Feeney, Chuck to his friends, Today he lives with his wife in a small two-bedroom apartment in San Francisco.. He doesn’t need more because he’s happy like that, just like with his ten dollar watch. His way of seeing his life influenced other great millionaires such as Warren Buffet or the Gates couple, who joined his initiative to “donate while he lives.” A great man.
Sources: The Confidential / BBC
#billionaire #owner #Duty #Free #gave #fortune #million #dollars #left