Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Amazing Story of Chuck Fenney

Many of us have heard of the philanthropy of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The former is a technological billionaire while the latter is a financial tycoon. Both have one thing in common. They are now in an ongoing campaign to give away as much of their wealth as possible to the needy. Ever wonder who inspired the two of them? The answer: Charles F. Fenney. At 82 years old, Fenney has given away a bulk of his fortune, supposedly around $7.5 billion, earned from being a co-founder of the DFS empire. Very few people on earth can have that much money. More than that. In a world where investors are all looking for opportunities to make money from, Fenney looks for worthwhile opportunities to give. Forbes magazine calls Fenney as "The Billionaire Who is Trying to Go Broke." 

Unlike Gates and Buffett, Fenney actively avoids the spotlight, keeping his giving in secret. In a world where people like to get something back when they give, Fenney bucks the trend, observing the biblical way of giving in secret, and without expecting anything in return. Educational institutions, hospitals, and charity organizations have reported receiving millions of dollars from him, anonymously. He is a major donor to Cornell University, his alma mater, the beneficiary of nearly $1billion. In fact, Fenney has been in the business of giving away his money for more than 30 years already, after setting aside some amount for his family as a dutiful father and husband. He is planning to shut down Atlantic Philantropies by 2020, once all his wealth has been given away.

Recently, reports have surfaced that Fenney's wealth is only about $2 million. It was even said that he does not own a house or a car.  Is that true that Fenney will die broke? No. I think he will die rich, far wealthier than all the money that he ever had. What he has done is priceless.


Estimated as of 2012

Here is a brief video of his life.

Here is a longer documentary on him here.


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