The Irish Americans
Chuck Feeney was never one for the limelight, but his selfless actions over the years have brought him recognition whether he liked it or not. In 1996, it emerged that he had donated over $600 million, a huge portion of his personal wealth, to create Atlantic Foundation, the fourth-largest philanthropic organization in the U.S.
The co-founder of Duty Free Shops, Feeney, a New Jersey native, was identified as the donor only after the sale of the chain of stores.
Innumerable charities and organizations have benefited from this donation, three Irish universities among them – Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, and the University of Limerick. Feeney has always gone to bat on all things Irish, from lending his considerable support in bringing American involvement to bear on the Irish peace process to supporting efforts to help illegal Irish immigrants.
In 2007, Feeney’s life story was told in "The Billionaire Who Wasn’t: How Chuck Feeney Made and Gave Away a Fortune Without Anyone Knowing" by Conor O’Clery, which told his incredible story. Feeney’s Irish roots go back to Co. Fermanagh, and he holds dual citizenship in Ireland and the U.S.
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