Oxfam, the British humanitarian charity released a report in 2017 stating that the global economy created a record number of billionaires in that year, exacerbating inequality amid a weakening of workers’ rights and a corporate push to maximize shareholder returns.
According to Oxfam: the world now has 2,043 billionaires, after a new one emerged every two days in the past year, the nonprofit organization said in a report published in 2018. The group of mostly men saw its wealth surge by $762 billion, which is enough money to end extreme poverty seven times over.
Bloomberg compiled research suggesting that the top 500 billionaires’ net worth grew 24% to $5.38 trillion in 2017, while the world’s richest person, Amazon Inc.’s Jeff Bezos, saw a gain of $33.7 billion.
So would we find compassionate billionaires who would be prepared to say give 3/4s of their wealth away to feed to starving, help eradicate disease, fund wells for water and schools to lift up the poorest of the poor?
You do find billionaires who have had hearts of compassion and given it all away. Here are 10 stories of wealthy people who gave their fortunes away in order to help others:
Among them is the Irish billionaire, Chuck Feeney. According to the Irish Times:
“Chuck Feeney today is a man of no property. He and his wife Helga live in a modest rented apartment in San Francisco. He has no car or luxuries of any kind. Actually, come to think of it, he has a very nice watch. It is plastic and cost about $15. There are no trophies or vanity photographs in the apartment to show that he has devoted his $8 billion fortune to making the world a better place.”
Photograph of Chuck Feeny courtesy of the Irish Times.