Billionaire Charles Feeney finishes forty year dream of giving away $8 billion fortune.
For years, billionaire Charles Feeney had one goal in mind - to give away his massive fortune and live the rest of his life "broke." Now, the 89-year-old has fulfilled his wish.
According to Forbes, Feeney has finished giving more than $8 billion in anonymous donations through his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies. Over the course of four decades, Forbes says Feeney gave $3.7 billion to education and more than $870 million to human rights and social change campaigns.
Feeney - who amassed his fortune after founding the famed airport retailer Duty Free Shoppers - also gave around $62 million in grants to end the death penalty in the United States and $76 million to support the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the outlet reported. Feeney also gave back to his alma mater, Cornell University, and recently gifted them with a $350 million contribution to build a technology campus in New York City, according to Forbes.
With nearly all of his fortune gone, Feeney officially closed down Atlantic Philanthropies this week.
"We learned a lot. We would do some things differently, but I am very satisfied. I feel very good about completing this on my watch," Feeney told Forbes. "My thanks to all who joined us on this journey," he added. "And to those wondering about Giving While Living: Try it, you'll like it."
Feeney said helping others simply made him happy.
In 2014, billionaire Warren Buffet honoured Feeney during an awards ceremony where he referred to him as a "hero." “Chuck has set an example,” Buffett said while presenting Feeney with that year's Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Philanthropy. "It’s a real honour to talk about a fellow who is my hero and Bill Gates’ hero. He should be everybody’s hero."