The billionaire who wanted to die broke is already broke

There are several millionaires whose names have been linked to notable acts of philanthropy, which contributes to the launch of social projects and ends up saving the lives of many. Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates stand out every time the newspapers refer to this topic. But there is someone who prefers a low profile, to appear little in the photos, but whose work, giving up a good part of his capital, has no comparison with that of his companions of fortune.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Es Charles “Chuck” Feeney, quien se hizo millonario tras la creación en 1960 del concepto de ventas “duty free”And from the Duty Free Shoppers chain, with establishments in hundreds of airports and shopping centers around the world, and which promised to donate most of its assets while still alive, so much so that in the end it would die in bankruptcy.” Data-reactid = “33”> This is Charles “Chuck” Feeney, who became a millionaire after the 1960 creation of the sales concept “duty free”And from the Duty Free Shoppers chain, with establishments in hundreds of airports and shopping centers around the world, and which promised to donate most of its assets while still alive, so much so that in the end it would die in bankruptcy.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Pionero de la tendencia de las donaciones entre los más acaudalados del país, “Chuck” Feeney aclaró en su momento que su dinero no iría a parar a una fundación para ser redistribuido tras su muerte. Prefería donarlo en vida y disfrutar viendo cómo cada dólar sumaba y aliviaba a alguien. Por eso su concepto se llama Giving While Living (Give while you live). “Data-reactid =” 34 “> Pioneering the trend of donations among the wealthiest in the country,” Chuck “Feeney clarified at the time that his money would not go to a foundation to be redistributed after his death. He preferred to donate it while alive and enjoy seeing how each dollar added and relieved someone. That is why his concept is called Giving While Living (Give while I live).

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Esta semana Steven Bertoni, editor de la revista Forbes, ha querido pay homage to this 89-year-old man who has led a life “as frugal as a monk” and who has just seen his dream come true: to have donated almost everything to keep just enough to live, until his life dies down. “data-reactid = “35”> This week Steven Bertoni, editor of Forbes magazine, wanted to pay homage to this 89-year-old man who has led a life “as frugal as a monk” and who has just seen his dream come true: to have donated almost everything to keep just enough to live, until his life dies down.

“We learned a lot. We could have done some things differently, but I’m very satisfied, ”Feeney told Forbes. “I feel very good closing this cycle under my supervision.”

Chuck Feeney preparing for an interview at his daughter's New York apartment in September 2007. (Photo: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Chuck Feeney preparing for an interview at his daughter’s New York apartment in September 2007. (Photo: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Donate without trumpeting” data-reactid=”57″>Donate without trumpeting

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Más de ocho mil millones de dólares han salido de la fundación Atlantic Philanthropies, created by Feeney, going to charities, universities and foundations around the world. “data-reactid =” 58 “> More than eight billion dollars has left the foundation Atlantic Philanthropies, created by Feeney, targeting charities, universities and foundations around the world.

In his article, Bertoni says that when he met him in 2012, the Irish-born billionaire and philanthropist calculated that he had set aside the two million dollar bicoca for his final days and those of his wife. The other big chunk had been donated, no less than 375,000% more than his current net worth.

But the story does not end there. Dollar after dollar, each donation had been made anonymously, unlike so many financial figures who tout their charities through the press and social media.

Feeney has always liked to do things quietly. That’s why Forbes called him the James Bond of philanthropy.

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Discreet life” data-reactid=”62″>Discreet life

Otherwise, “Chuck” does not abandon his austere life and continues to live in an apartment in San Francisco, California, which, according to Bertoni, looks more like the bedroom of a student who has just arrived at the university.

The journalist was struck by the fact that in one corner, on a small table, there was a plaque that read: “Congratulations to Chuck Feeney for the eight billion dollars in philanthropic donations.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Aun así, muchos poderosos saben quién es este hombre más que discreto. Fue su ejemplo el que motivó a Bill Gates y Warren Buffett para la creación en 2010 de Giving Pledge, an intense campaign that wanted the richest in the world to give up at least half of their fortunes before dying. “data-reactid =” 65 “> Even so, many powerful people know who this man is more than discreet. He was his example the one that motivated Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to create in 2010 Giving Pledge, an intense campaign that wanted the richest in the world to give up at least half of their fortunes before dying.

“Chuck was a cornerstone in terms of inspiration for the Giving Pledge,” stated Buffett. “He is a model for all of us. It will take me 12 years after my death to do what he has been doing in life.

“Chuck created a path for other philanthropists to follow,” recalled Bill Gates. “I remember meeting him before starting the Giving Pledge. He told me that we should encourage people not to give just 50%, but as much as possible during their lifetime. No one has set a better example than him. Many have told me how it inspired them. It’s really amazing. “

<h2 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Where has the money gone?” data-reactid=”73″>Where has the money gone?

The map of this road adventure has been more than varied: from the peace process in Northern Ireland, to the modernization of the Vietnamese health care system (270 million dollars) or the conversion of Roosevelt Island, in New York, at a technology center, for which Feeney donated $ 350 million.

Feeney also donated 3.7 billion dollars for education, including one billion for the university where he was formed, Cornell. Another 870 million went to the preservation of human rights and social change, while 62 million were converted into grants to finance the battle against the death penalty in the country.

In addition, $ 76 million was used for grassroots campaigns in support of Obamacare and another $ 176 million was given to the Global Brain Health Institute at the University of California, San Francisco.

“I see little reason to delay giving when so much good can be accomplished by supporting worthy causes,” he declared again for Forbes in 2019. “Plus, it’s so much more fun to give while you’re alive than to do it when you’re already dead.”

On September 14, Charles “Chuck” Feeney completed his mission and signed the documents for the closure of Atlantic Philanthropies, a project that involved 300 employees in ten offices across the globe.

Held through Zoom and in the midst of a tragic pandemic, the ceremony included video messages from Bill Gates and former California Governor Jerry Brown. In addition, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, sent him an official letter from the United States Congress thanking this man for his incomparable generosity.

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