With donations exceeding $12 billion, George Soros is one of the world’s leading philanthropists. Funding organizations and individuals fighting internationally for responsible governments, freedom of expression, transparency, social justice and equality.
Soros was born in Hungary, which he later fled, and studied in the London School of Economics, paying for his schooling by working as a railway porter and waiter. This was before he began working at merchant bank, starting his career in finance. He then moved to New York, where he got his start in Wall Street and in 1969 established a $12 million hedge fund, later named Quantum Fund. Soros is considered an investment heavyweight, and manages his family office, the Soros Fund Management, which is worth $30 billion in assets. Read more on NYTimes.com
His philanthropic focus; on fighting against discrimination and for equality, stems from his own experiences in intolerance. He experienced the Nazi occupation in 1944-1945 in Hungary; his family survived the mass murders of Jews by concealing their identities and helping others do the same. To Soros, these actions during this difficult time highlight the importance of resisting evil, and helping others. It is in this spirit that George Soros created the Open Society Foundations (OSF), a network spanning more than 100 countries, which includes projects, partners, and foundations. Starting by providing scholarships to black South Africans under apartheid, and supported the exchange of ideas in the Communist Easter Bloc. He also created the Central European University, to provide a space for critical thinking. After the Cold War, he expanded his charitable activities to United States, Africa, and Asia. His efforts there focused on the creation of more democratic societies. His ideals mirror those of an open society.
Soros’s social efforts extend beyond his foundations, to support other organizations committed to similar causes, such as Global Witness, the International Crisis Group, the European Council on Foreign Relations, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Read his profile at Business Insider.
In his commitment to fighting oppression and supporting more open and just societies, with transparent governments, Soros used his wealth and connections to support political change in several countries around the world. This includes financially supporting movements and charters that are working towards recognition of human rights. One example is his support of the 1976 “Charter 77” which demanded the Czech government recognize some basic human rights. This spurred a growth of a political movement and ultimately the velvet revolution, bringing down Czechoslovakia’s Communist regime. According to him, this wealth allowed him the freedom to shape a path towards a more equitable and open world.
Even at 80, Soros continues to actively participate in the OSF’s activities, traveling the globe to promote its mission and advocating for positive policy changes.
Read more: http://www.cnbc.com/george-soros/