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Billionaire's Life Goal: Dying Broke

A recent article in Forbes reported the conclusion of Chuck Feeney’s journey to give away a fortune. The article was titled "The Billionaire Who Wanted To Die Broke … Is Now Officially Broke.”

Feeney, 89, cofounded airport retailer Duty Free Shoppers in 1960. He amassed billions while living a life of monk-like frugality. Over the last four decades, Feeney has donated more than $8 billion to charities, universities, and foundations worldwide through his foundation. And he did it all anonymously. Because of this clandestine, globe-trotting giving campaign, Forbes called him “the James Bond of philanthropy.” And his example ignited a fire storm of radical generosity by other plutocrats (more than 210 billionaires have signed the Giving Pledge to date).

In an article titled Zero Is the Hero, Feeney summarized his mission in a few sentences. “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.” Now at the conclusion of his “journey to broke,” Feeney tells Forbes: “We learned a lot. We would do some things differently, but I am very satisfied. I feel very good about completing this on my watch. ... And to those wondering about Giving While Living: Try it, you'll like it.”


Steven Bertoni, "Exclusive: The Billionaire Who Wanted to Die Broke . . . Is Now Officially Broke.” Forbes (9-15-20)

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