With a college background in both journalism and education, Mr. Feinstein taught public schools in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and established an English school in Thailand after a private audience with the king. He later entered the business world, starting a financial advisory newspaper column and private newsletter in 1974 with $500 in savings. His newsletters went on to become among the most widely circulated in the world, reaching a readership of over 500,000. He credits his great circulation to a man he never met - an Indian doctor and world traveler who liked Mr. Feinstein's newspaper column so much that he got it into newspapers in many countries. He has also authored several best-selling financial guides, a novel and several books for children. A book was written about him and the value of his advice: The Four Treasures of Alan Shawn Feinstein, published by Prentice-Hall in 1984.

Since 1996, he has dedicated his full time to philanthropic endeavors, focusing on the advancement of public service and the alleviation of hunger. He founded the World Hunger Program at Brown University, the first university center to study and try to end the causes of hunger, launched the World Hunger Brigade, a program which encourages middle school students to study hunger and design programs to fight it, the Feinstein International Famine Center at Tufts University which carries out projects designed to help reduce hunger in countries around the world, and the Center for a Hunger Free America at the University of Rhode Island.

His commitment to the schools in the State of Rhode Island is legendary. He has dedicated millions of dollars to its elementary and secondary schools, and to its colleges and universities, to advance the importance of community service in education and the values of caring, compassion and brotherhood. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the first public high school ever to have community service as its central theme and the first college program to offer a degree in this field (the Feinstein Institute at Providence College). His motto, " Helping to better the lives of others is the greatest of all achievements" is on many high schools and middle school buildings in the state.

Among the many honors he has received are the American Historical Society’s Distinguished Services Award, the American Red Cross Longfellow Humanitarian Award, the first Rhode Island Citizen of the Year Award by the March of Dimes Foundation and the first humanitarian award given by his hometown of Cranston. He has been named to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, has received the prestigious President’s Medal from Brown University and Rhode Island College, and honorary doctorate degrees from Providence College, Salve Regina University, Johnson and Wales University, Roger Williams University, Rhode Island College, the University of Rhode Island and the New England Institute of Technology. He recently founded the Citizenship Center at the International Institute of Rhode Island as well. He also has given start-up funds to over 200 houses of worship throughout the country to start food pantries available to everyone in need in their communities regardless of their religious affiliation.

Many schools in Rhode Island have been named for him including the Graduate School of Johnson & Wales University , the College of Arts and Science at Roger Williams University, the College of Education at Rhode Island College, the College of Continuing Education at the University of Rhode Island and several elementary schools and pre-schools. More recently several other schools in Rhode Island have been named for him - the middle school in Coventry, the Learning Academy in Woonsocket - plus elementary schools in Nicaragua, Haiti,  and Kenya. With the help of the former Rhode island College president, John Nazirian, he also recently founded the Institute of Philanthropic Leadership at that college. Over 100 public and parochial schools identify themselves as 'Feinstein Leadership Schools' - encouraging their students to share his commitment to reaching out to help others in need. Mr. Feinstein believes that helping to better the lives of others, regardless of race, creed or color, is the greatest of all achievements.

Mr. Feinstein has been married for over 40 years to Dr. Pratarnporn Feinstein, a psychiatrist and native of Bangkok, Thailand. They have three children Ari, Ricky, and Leila Feinstein and four grandchildren. Though Mr. Feinstein comes from a strictly Jewish background, his family now consists of Christians, Muslims and Buddhists and a mixture of all races. 

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Alan Shawn Feinstein

T: 401-467-5155
F: 401-941-0988


Mailing Address

37 Alhambra Circle
Cranston, RI 02905