The recipients did not know why the gifts came, or how to ask for more. But still the money drizzled in, to universities and hospitals and service groups around the globe, paid in cashier's checks and accompanied only by word that the giver wished to remain anonymous. In January the shroud lifted, revealing a tale of such unsung goodness that some almost wished its secrecy had been preserved. Charles F. Feeney, 66, a businessman from New Jersey, had during the past decade given away more than $600 million through his two charitable foundations. At least $3.5 billion more--the entire value of...

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