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Chuck Feeney, the Irish American philanthropist who made his fortune co-founding the Duty Free Shoppers Group in 1960, has made a donation of $100 million to the University of California at San Francisco, the city where he resides.
He is now the single largest donor across the University of California system, with his donations over the years totaling $394 million.
While this is a remarkable sum, it is still a drop in the bucket given the fact that Feeney has made some of the largest charitable donations in history. He had a major role in the Irish peace process, funding the Sinn Fein office in DC as part of that process.
By the time it concludes its charitable initiatives, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the company Feeney set up to handle his donations and, initially, shield his generosity from the public eye, will have donated over $7.5 billion to education and other worthy causes. He has donated generously to Irish universities.
Feeney, now 83, is widely credited with spearheading the idea of ‘giving while living,’ which has become the standard for some of the wealthiest individuals today, including Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. Buffet has called Feeney “my hero” and has said that he should be everyone’s hero.
Last year, IrishCentral and Guinness honored Feeney with a “Raise Your Glass” event, part of the brand’s MADE OF MORE campaign and will include more than 3,000 events around the country recognizing others who, like Feeney, rise to the challenge of making this world a better place.
Feeney’s most recent donation to UCSF will go towards support for the medical students, faculty and new hospitals that opened Feb. 1 at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus. The money will also be directed to research programs focused on the neurosciences and aging.