Charles Francis Feeney

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Chuck Feeney was born on April 23rd, 1931 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States. Currently, he lives in Dublin, Brisbane and San Francisco. He has served in the Air Force during the Korean War. After the war, he attended Cornell University of Hotel Administration on the GI Bill. When he graduated in 1956, he went to France to take more courses. During his time in France, he got involved in the business of selling tax free objects to the U.S Navy Atlantic Fleet sailors, which gave him an idea of duty-free shops. He and other men gathered to make the duty free business into a reality. By 1964, they had succeeded in expanding their duty free shop empire to 200 employees in 27 countries.

Chuck Feeney is a hero in many ways. He is a hero who saved innocent people from getting killed in the Korean War. He is a hero because of the $7.5 billion he has earned from his Duty Free business, giving away more than 90% of his wealth to various charities, universities and countries. He has given away $19.5 million dollars to a charity called Operation Smile, which corrects cleft palates in children from poor nations. Chuck Feeney has been helping out people who are in need and building educational facilities throughout his life. However, there isn’t a single location where he has built or developed a facility that hangs his portrait or name on the wall to inform people about him.

Before Forbes published an article about him in 1997, no one knew who he was, not even the charities or organizations he had donated to. He has always been an anonymous donor until the amount of money was becoming too big to ignore. He has inspired many people, especially billionaires, to help others from the heart, not for public attention. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been inspired by the Atlantic Foundation which was founded by Chuck Feeney.


Sailors: a person whose job it is to work as a member of the crew of a commercial or naval ship or boat.

Tax: a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government on workers’ income.

Gathered: come together; assemble or accumulate.

Charity: the voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.


Do you think it is good or not for a person to be so giving and remain anonymous? What are the pros and cons of such actions?


Practice this new vocabulary and make sentences with it.

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