The Billionaire Who Wasn't

  • by Conor O'Clery
  • Narrated by Erik Synnestvedt
  • 15 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1988 Forbes magazine hailed Chuck Feeney as the 23rd richest American alive. No one knew until then that he was extremely wealthy. Or was he? Born during the Depression in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Feeney had made a fortune as co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers, the world's largest duty-free retail chain. How he did it is one of the great untold retail stories of modern times.
The greater untold story is that Feeney had in fact given away his fortune, in its totality, to endow Atlantic Philanthropies - one of the most generous and secretive philanthropic funds in the world. Atlantic Philanthropies is committed to giving away all its assets - currently they stand at $4 billion - during the next decade, an unprecedented example of the "giving while living" philosophy. Through the achievements of Atlantic Philanthropies, Chuck Feeney's influence has become even more impressive than his wealth.
Feeney is a frugal man who travels economy class and does not own a house or a car. He has largely kept out of the public eye - until now. He has revealed his secret life only because he hopes his story will encourage something in which he passionately believes: that rich individuals have a moral obligation to put their wealth to good use while they are alive.


What the Critics Say

"A smart business book detailing some vicissitudes of retailing, wrapped in a vivid biography of an engaging tycoon." ( Kirkus Reviews)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Brilliant and so different, in my top 10

Brilliant and so different, in my top 10 books.
great story and life of a genius, but also sad to see money ruin relationships
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- Paul

Well worth a listen by anyone

On the face of it a story of a paradoxical man who grew up poor, enlisted, then university and travelled. He made millions from Duty Free and investments and then decided to give it all away to make other people's lives much better. It reads like a novel rather than a biographer and is fascinating. Has it changed by views? No but it has strengthened by determination in all parts oft life. Chuck Feeney achieved success at whatever he focussed on and [relatively] quickly. Great read and well narrated.
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- Simon Reid

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-10-2013
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC