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Charles Feeney, retail entrepreneur who gave $8 billion to charity, dies at 92 | CNN Enterprise


Los Angeles

Charles “Chuck” Feeney, a retail entrepreneur and investor who amassed a multibillion-dollar fortune after which gave all of it away, has died. He was 92.

He died peacefully in San Francisco on Monday, the Atlantic Philanthropies, Feeney’s basis, mentioned on its web site.

Feeney made a lot of his fortune after co-founding Responsibility Free Customers, a series of duty-free airport shops specializing in luxurious items, in 1960 with an undergraduate classmate from Cornell College.

In 1996, Feeney bought his shares in DFS to French luxurious items conglomerate LVMH, which now owns a majority stake within the retailer. DFS has greater than 850 boutiques spanning a number of continents, in accordance to the model’s web site.

Feeney was a proponent of “Giving Whereas Residing,” believing he might make extra of a distinction in causes he cared about whereas he was alive, somewhat than organising a basis after he died, based on the Atlantic Philanthropies.

“It’s far more enjoyable to offer while you’re alive than to offer if you find yourself lifeless,” Feeney mentioned in a biography about him, “The Billionaire Who Wasn’t.”

Feeney arrange the Atlantic Philanthropies in 1982, transferring all of his enterprise belongings to it two years later, based on the inspiration. In 2020, the inspiration closed its doorways after it mentioned it had efficiently given away all of its funds.

In whole, the Atlantic Philanthropies made grants totaling $8 billion throughout 5 continents — a lot of it anonymously, the inspiration mentioned. Donations supported training, well being care, human rights and extra. Feeney’s basis donated to infrastructure in Vietnam, universities in Eire and medical facilities dedicated to discovering cures for most cancers and heart problems, based on the inspiration’s web site.

Feeney selected to dwell the final three a long time of his life frugally, his basis mentioned: He didn’t personal a automotive or residence, preferring to dwell in a rented condo in San Francisco, based on the inspiration.

Feeney was born right into a working-class Irish-American household through the Nice Despair in Elizabeth, New Jersey, enrolling in Cornell College in 1952 with help from the GI Invoice. He was the primary in his household to go to school.

Feeney has been known as Cornell’s “third founder” because of the magnitude of his funding within the college. He gave practically $1 billion to Cornell by means of his basis since 1982, based on an obituary on Cornell’s web site.

In 2011, Feeney signed the “Giving Pledge,” a dedication began by Invoice and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett that encourages America’s wealthiest households and people to dedicate their wealth to philanthropic endeavors.

“I can not consider a extra personally rewarding and acceptable use of wealth than to offer whereas one resides — to personally dedicate oneself to significant efforts to enhance the human situation,” Feeney wrote in his pledge letter.

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