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Chuck Feeney is a new kind of billionaire– one who wanted to go broke before the end of his life, but not by spending the money on himself. Feeney’s goal was to give away his entire fortune to causes that needed it most. As of 2020, he’s finally accomplished that goal. His foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, has shuttered its doors after giving way more than $8 billion in life-changing grants to help fund social change, healthcare reform, and education initiatives all over the world. Chuck Feeney has brought peace to Northern Ireland, improved healthcare in Vietnam, and helped fund Cornell’s new tech university on Roosevelt Island. But how– and why– did he do it?
Chuck Feeney’s whole philosophy is about giving while living. He didn’t want his money to sit stagnant, so he left him and his wife a small apartment and some modest retirement savings and then focused his life and the money he made from Duty Free Shoppers on making the world a better place. Billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have been inspired by his generosity and started the Giving Pledge– an initiative to get billionaires to give away at least half their wealth in their lifetime.
Chuck came from modest beginnings, so perhaps that’s why he was able to reject a luxury lifestyle in favor of helping the world. Here’s the story of Chuck Feeney, billionaire-gone-broke and one of the most inspirational wealthy figures in the world, who’s inspiring more billionaires to follow his path.
Written by: Courtney Hayes
Narrated by: Adam Newmark
Edited by: Vitalii Voshchepynets
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00:44 The simple but impactful life of a modest billionaire
03:15 How he gave away over $8 billion
06:26 The end of a fortune but the beginning of a legacy”