Irish-American businessman Charles Feeney, 89, is now “officially broke” after giving away $8 billion of his hard-earned money to various charitable causes all over the world.
Feeney, whom Microsoft centi-billionaire Bill Gates is trying hard to emulate, recently signed documents marking the end of his foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, after parting with some $8 billion over a 40-year period.
Since the 1980s, he had made financial donations to educational institutions, human rights groups and social causes worldwide through Atlantic, including a $350-million grant to Cornell University for a tech campus on New York City’s Roosevelt Island.
Feeney, who is the co-founder of the retail chain Duty Free Shoppers (DFS), had promised to give away all his money and die a penniless man.
He is said to have inspired Gates and another super-rich guy Warren Buffet in setting up the “Giving Pledge” program to encourage billionaires to donate the majority of their wealth while still alive.
Photo by: Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy