12 August 2022
The search for Charles Feeney, elusive philanthropist
by Jill Margo
For years, Australian researchers looked for the legendary – and legendarily private – American donor, but they couldn’t find him. Here’s why.
There was a time when Australians knew that the US philanthropist Charles “Chuck” Feeney had a soft spot for this country, but he was so elusive they couldn’t find him.
One person who spent years looking is Professor Bob Graham, founder of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI). He needed $20 million to complete a glass and steel building to house the new institute in Sydney.
Someone suggested he get in touch with Chuck Feeney.
“How?” he asked.
The answer was not helpful: “Look, he’s quiet and won’t let anyone contact him. When he gives money, he has people sign a form saying that if anyone finds out about it, the money will be stopped.”