The Billionaire Who Wasnt

Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey during the Great Depression, Irish-American Chuck Feeney went on to become one of the richest men in the U.S. He made a fortune owning and operating Duty Free Shoppers, a chain of affordable retail stores. But these are not the most fascinating details located in "The Billionaire Who Wasn't," Conor O'Clery's biography of Feeney. The world discovered in 1997 that Feeney was also one of the world's great philanthropists, a fact he managed to keep secret until he sold much of his business interests. It was then that Atlantic Philanthropies, Feeney's charitable operation, became known to the public. Why did he keep this a secret? Why does this billionaire refuse to spend money on first class travel or even a car or house? O'Clery, the award-winning Irish Times journalist, attempts to answer these questions. He also notes that Feeney, now in his mid-seventies, has a new project: spending the remaining four billion of his fortune while he is still alive. ($26.95 / 352 pages / PublicAffairs)