Chuck Feeney; you’ve probably never heard of him, right? On the face of it, he is an aging tycoon who is responsible for an empire of tax free shops, aptly named Duty Free Shoppers. He has (begrudgingly) been included on the Forbes 400 list, his wealth so vast that he once invested $5 million into the creation of an airport in Saipan, a small island just off Japan, so that he could build one of his DFS stores there.
However, when we scratch beneath the surface, one will uncover a clandestine operation in the name of worldwide donations and grants. In fact, Feeney has slowly whittled down his financial worth to just $2 million in the last few decades. As a result, the Irish-American has funnelled more than $6 billion into the likes of education, science, health care, and aging and civil rights into countries such as the U.S, Ireland, Australia, Vietnam, Bermuda and South Africa. The final $1.5 billion is to be donated in 2016. Indeed, Forbes counts Chuck Feeney as doing more for Ireland than Saint Patrick has ever done. Responsible for nearly $170 million in grants for the University of Limerick, the library gift shop, genetics complex, and department of neuroscience within Trinity College, Feeney is a veritable Dark Knight in a tweed suit. He has also contributed to the peace process in Northern Ireland.
In fact, in place of plastering his name across college departments and hospitals, he entices other tycoons of a lesser moral code to inscribe their names into gold plaques, all for a price of course. He feeds this money from essentially selling credibility back into his philanthropic endeavours. In addition, he has called for other business tycoons to donate half their wealth upon their cessation, a direct contrast to Feeney’s own mission. For this Irish Saint seems intent on spreading his wealth while he is alive, so that he can die broke.
Read more about Feeney on the Forbes website. http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2012/09/18/chuck-feeney-the-billionaire-who-is-trying-to-go-broke/