The Billionaire who Gave Away His Fortune

Charles Feeney gave away $8 billion to charity. And he did it anonymously.

Click here if you are unable to view this video.

The Billionaire who Gave Away his Fortune

Based on Forbes magazine article

Charles “Chuck” Feeney amassed billions while living a frugal life.

He pioneered Giving While Living – giving away most of your fortune to charity while you're alive.

Over the last four decades, Feeney donated more than $8 billion to charities, universities and foundations worldwide.

He set aside about $2 million for his and his wife's retirement. On Sept 14, 2020, he finished giving away his entire fortune and closed his foundation.

And Feeney gave it away anonymously, going to great lengths to keep his gifts secret.

He and his wife live in a small apartment in San Francisco.

His extreme charity influenced Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to launch the Giving Pledge – a campaign to convince the world’s wealthiest to give away at least half their fortunes before their deaths.

I see little reason to delay giving when so much good can be achieved through supporting worthwhile causes. Besides, it’s a lot more fun to give while you live than give while you're dead.”

Feeney gave $3.7 billion to education, $870 million to human rights and social change, and more than $700 million to health.

Comments (6)

(5) Denise Jamerson, September 26, 2020 3:31 AM

Thank you for sharing.

Your heart is one of love for others. As God bless Abraham, so are you blessed. Your kindness has been recorded in the books. Many will be blessed because of your generosity.

(4) Rebecca, September 24, 2020 5:51 PM

Do your giving while you're living so you're knowing where it's going.

I believe it was John Maxwell (speaker, author, more) whom I first heard say, "Do your giving while you're living so you're knowing where it's going."

Lots of gratitude to Mr. Feeney, and to all those who give, large or small, anonymously or not.

(3) melissa samimi, September 22, 2020 8:24 PM

This is the one thing that gives hope.

If people of privilege would share, rather than hoard, we have a chance of solving social problems. Thanks for sharing!

(2) Zvi, September 22, 2020 6:51 AM

Very "noble"... but...

Doesn't the Talmud state that one should not give away "too much" lest he (or she) become a burden on the Community? IS leaving one's self $2,000,000 for the rest of his [hopefully long and happy] life adequate? What happens in the case of accident or illness? Was there insurance?

Anonymous, September 27, 2020 2:26 AM

Private Plans/Arrangements

Why do you find it necessary to comment as you did? I assume he and his wife have their private plans/arrangements in retirement. They also have those who care about them etc. Your comment detracts from the bigger picture of this article. And, as I'm trying to politely say, their retirement plans/arrangements are none of your business.

(1) Ra'anan, September 21, 2020 3:24 PM

I had to check his wiki, this is the way it's supposed to be...

He also made sure his children worked as waiters & chambermaids during the summers. I'm so humbled by his character.


Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment

Receive the Weekly Email

Sign up to our Aish Weekly Update Newsletter.

Our privacy policy