The billionaire who wasn't : how Chuck Feeney secretly made and gave away a fortune

by Conor O'Clery

Hardcover, 2007




New York : Public Affairs c2007.


This substantially updated edition of the Business Week bestseller and an Economist "Best Book of the year" tells the story of the secretive billionaire-turned-philanthropist, who is determined to give away his fortune before he dies. Chuck Feeney was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to a blue-collar Irish-American family during the Depression. After service in the Korean War, he made a fortune as founder of Duty Free Shoppers, the world's largest duty-free retail chain. By 1988, he was hailed by Forbes Magazine as the twenty-fourth richest American alive. But secretly Feeney had already transferred all his wealth to his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies. Only in 1997 when he sold his duty free interests, was he "outed" as one of the greatest and most mysterious American philanthropists in modern times. After going "underground" again, he emerged in 2005 to cooperate on a biography promoting giving while living. Now in his mid-seventies, Feeney is determined his foundation should spend down the remaining $4 billion in his lifetime.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
The story of Chuck Feeney, how he made his millions and gave most of it away.

It's interesting but it does show how a lot of rich people avoid the taxes the poorer have to face. I was torn between admiring him and wanting a chunk of his capital.
LibraryThing member lalalibrarian
I say it was OK only b/c I think the subject is interesting. The author can't write and the editors didn't do their job. I muddled through this for about three weeks and now I'm giving up. I wish someone else had written this book!!
LibraryThing member Peterabun
Very interesting story. I know the subject somewhat as I worked for his company for about four years. This is a really good story, poorly told. It gets pretty boring in spots. Chuck Feeney is a very unique individual. We need many more like him in the business world, instead of the Nardelli's and that ilk.



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