Monday, 24 June 2024

Chuck Feeney, Founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies


Champion's Profile

Charles Francis 'Chunk' Feeney (born 23 April 1931) is an Irish-American businessman and philanthropist and the founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies, one of the largest private foundations in the world. He made his fortune as a co-founder of the Duty Free Shoppers Group, which pioneered the concept of duty-free shopping. Over the course of his life, Feeney has given away more than $8 billion. Feeney is known for his frugality, living in a rented apartment, not owning a car or a house, and flying economy class.


Aging, Youth, Human Rights, Poverty, Progressive Advocacy

Description and impact

In 1982, Feeney created The Atlantic Philanthropies, and in 1984, secretly transferred his entire 38.75% stake in DFS, then worth about $500 million, to the foundation. Not even his business partners knew that he no longer personally owned any part of DFS. For years, Atlantic gave away money in secret, requiring recipients to not reveal the sources of their donations. "Beyond Mr. Feeney's reticence about blowing his own horn, 'it was also a way to leverage more donations–-some other individual might contribute to get the naming rights.