Charles Feeney, the billionaire who donated his entire fortune, has died at the age of 92

His foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, has made grants totaling $8 billion across five continents

Charles ‘Chuck’ Feeney, an entrepreneur and investor who amassed a multibillion-dollar fortune and later donated it, has died. He was 92 years old. Atlantic Philanthropies, Feeney’s foundation, said on its website that he passed away peacefully in San Francisco on Monday, CNN reported.

Who was Charles Feeney and what did he do

Feeney had made much of his fortune after co-founding Duty Free Shoppers, a chain of duty-free airport stores specializing in luxury goods, in 1960 with a fellow Cornell University student. In 1996 he sold his shares in DFS to LVMH, which now holds a majority stake. According to the brand’s website, DFS has more than 850 boutiques on different continents.

Feeney was an advocate of “Giving While You Live,” believing he could make a difference in causes he cared about while he was alive, rather than creating a foundation after his death, according to Atlantic Philanthropies. “It’s a lot more fun to give while you’re alive than to give when you’re dead,” Feeney said in a biography about him, ‘The Billionaire Who Wasn’t.’

Feeney created Atlantic Philanthropies in 1982, transferring all of his corporate assets to it two years later. In 2020, the foundation closed its doors after saying it had successfully donated all of its funds. In total, Atlantic Philanthropies has made grants totaling $8 billion across five continents, largely anonymously, the foundation said. Donations have supported education, healthcare, human rights and more.

Feeney chose to live the last three decades of his life frugally. According to the foundation, she owned neither a car nor a house, preferring to live in a rented apartment in San Francisco.