Billionaire Gives Back: George Soros

Published on Author RM2000

Business mogul and philanthropic hero, George Soros has spent the majority of his life fighting discrimination and empowering the marginalized across the globe. As a young man, he met history’s worst discrimination personally during the Nazi occupation in Hungry. His Jewish family barely survived but was triumphant. They escaped the mass murder of 500,000 Hungarian Jews by procuring new identities and concealing their backgrounds. This survival motivated Soros in all his endeavors as he empathized with those who also suffered prejudice and violence. George Soros established the Open Society Foundations.

At seventeen years of age, George Soros began the study of business at the London School of Economics in 1947. In 1956, he moved to the United States and by 1970, he started his own hedge fund, Soros Fund Management with $12 million from investors. This fund found unprecedented success through its various iterations and in September 2015, at the age of 85 years old, Soros was deemed the 21st richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $26 billion.

During his years at the London School of Economics, Soros’s major influencer was philosopher Karl Popper. Popper believed that no ideology proposes the truth or final meaning of life. Rather, Popper suggests that societies can only succeed when they promote democratic governance, freedom of expression, and respect for individual rights. Intrigued with these ideas and motivated to pursue democratic peace in the world, Soros adopted this philosophy and implemented it in the core of Open Society Foundations—a network of foundations, partners, and projects connecting more than 100 countries.

Learn more: http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=977

Soros’s philanthropy has spanned several decades and countries across the globe. In 1979, he provided black South Africans scholarships who were experiencing apartheid to continue study and their pursuits of freedom. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, he founded the Central European University as a space to foster critical thinking during a time that this concept was banned at most universities in former Soviet states. His philanthropy further expanded in the United States, Africa, and Asia, supporting new efforts to create more democratic societies. He was an early critic of the war on drugs and helped advance the medical marijuana movement in America. By the early 2000s, he was a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage. In addition to the work supported through Open Society Foundations, Soros has supported the organizations Global Witness, the International Crisis Group, the European Council of Foreign Relations, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Read this story at Politico.com about George Soros.

Sources as instructed by client: Open Society Foundations (https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/people/george-soros)

and Biography.com (https://www.biography.com/people/george-soros-20926527)