Chuck Feeney the founder of the Duty-Free Shoppers Group, made his fortune back in the early 80s. Along with it, however, he also made it his personal mission to do his best to give back, and now, after 38 years, he has given away nearly all of his money.
For 15 years, no one knew of his good deeds. The truth was revealed, though, when he had to sell his stock shares in 1997. But at first glance, Feeney wouldn't strike you as a wealthy man. He rents a small apartment, only flies economy, and owns just a single pair of shoes.
In 2005, he worked with author Conor O’Cleary to encourage other wealthy people to enjoy "giving while living". He wants people to enjoy doing nice things for others while they're still alive to see it happen.
"Wealth brings responsibility," said the mogul, "People must define themselves, or feel a responsibility to use some of their assets to improve the lives of their fellow humans, or else create intractable problems for future generations."
Over the course of his life thus far, Feeney has donated $3.7 billion to higher education institutions (such as the $1 billion donated to Cornell University, his alma mater). He donated about $870 million to a myriad of human rights organizations, $1.9 billion to foundations in his hometown of Northern Ireland, and even helped found the University of Limerick in the Republic of Ireland. His contributions have inspired the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to donate most of their earnings over their lifetimes, as well.