He Quietly Gave Away Billions
But now the secretive philanthropist spills the beans behind his generosity
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2007 10:39 AM CDT
Conor O%u2019Clery's %u201CThe Billionaire Who Wasn%u2019t," a biography of Feeney, is the story of a man who builds a massive fortune, but remains indifferent toward it.   (© PublicAffairs)
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(Newser) – Chuck Feeney’s foundation gave $458 million in grants last year—third only to Ford and Gates—but very few know the secretive philanthropist’s name. Having thus far shielded himself from fame, Feeney gets some star treatment in a new biography that sheds light on his good deeds and spartan lifestyle, reports the Times—in a profile quietly buried in Wednesday’s edition.

Atlantic Philanthropies has given away $4 billion since 1982, and will donate a remaining $4 billion over the next 10 years. Among its many gifts, Atlantic has funded AIDS clinics in Africa, education in Vietnam, and medical care in Cuba. Feeney made his fortune with duty-free airport shops, but the miracle worker, “disguised as an ordinary man,” still flies coach.