Observing the lack of local fast food outlets catering to the appetite of wealthy Cornell students for midnight snacks, Chuck Feeney set up a sandwich business, making and delivering up to a 100 sandwiches a night to his fellow students.
That talent for identifying lucrative demographic gaps between supply and demand served Feeney well as he and fellow Cornell graduate Bob Miller pioneered the concept of Duty Free shopping. They both made billions selling luxury goods to middle class citizens from the United States, Japan, and ultimately the world.
And then, observing demographic gaps of another kind, Feeney ploughed it all – $6.3 billion – back into health, education and social equity programs through his charitable foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies.
"I believe strongly in ‘giving while living.’ I see little reason to delay giving when so much good can be achieved through supporting worthwhile causes today."
Listen to UC SF's tribute to the extraordinary philanthropic work of the 'secret billionaire'