From the Atlantic Philanthropies website: Our Founder, Charles “Chuck” Feeney, was born during the Great Depression and came from a modest background of blue collar Irish-American parents who worked hard to make a good life for their family....... In 1982, he established The Atlantic Foundation, the first and by far the largest of The Atlantic Philanthropies, and gave virtually all of his money to the new foundation in 1984. At first operating anonymously, Atlantic has made grants totaling more than $5 billion as of December 2009. Mr. Feeney is an active member of the Board and often proposes Founding Chairman grants to better the lives of people in a variety of countries. Today, Mr. Feeney owns neither a home nor a car. He still travels constantly—in economy class—and is well known for wearing a $15 watch. As he is quoted in his biography, The Billionaire Who Wasn’t, “I had one idea that never changed in my mind - that you should use your wealth to help people.”
Giving While Living: We are committed to making improvements in the lives of people who need change the most. In keeping with the Giving While Living philosophy of our founder, Charles “Chuck” Feeney, we believe in making large investments to help solve urgent social problems now. To that end, we will become the largest foundation in history to spend down our endowment, and will close our doors by 2020.