In 2012, Forbes described him as "the James Bond of philanthropy" and the former billionaire finished giving away his entire fortune, thought to be around $8 billion (£5.9bn), in September 2020. Much of his money was donated through his Atlantic Philanthropies foundation, which he established in 1982, and went to educational projects and institutions in a variety of countries.
When the foundation ran out of cash thanks to Feeney's various charitable donations over the years, which included $2.5 billion (£1.8bn) in capital project grants to build over 1,000 buildings to "invigorate communities" across five continents, Feeney achieved his goal of "giving while one is living." He reportedly retained $2 million (£1.5m) to sustain him during his retirement, which means he has given away a whopping 399,900 times more money than he currently has in the bank.
In a 2022 Forbes interview, Bill Gates name checked Feeney, saying that his own philanthropy was based on Feeney's strategy.
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