Charles Feeney, 89, who co-founded the Duty Free Shoppers chain in 1960, made billions while living as a monk. Years ago, Feeney shared that he had set aside about $2 million for himself and his wife, and would love the rest of his life donating the rest. He is a big fan of “Giving While Living”, instead of financing foundations after his death.
Over the past 40 years, Feeney has donated more than $8 billion to charities, universities, and foundations through his organization Atlantic Philanthropies. He has donated around $3.7 billion to education and more than $870 million to human rights causes.
“People used to ask me how I got my jollies, and I guess I’m happy when what I’m doing is helping people and unhappy when what I’m doing isn’t helping people.”
On September 14, 2020, Feeney officially completed his 40-year mission of giving away his fortune and closed down his foundation.
“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.”