George Soros is not a man who has forgotten where he came from. From humble beginnings, he became not only one of the richest men in the world but one of the greatest philanthropists the world has ever seen.
Soros was born in Hungary in 1930, and his early years were marked by strife. When Soros was an adolescent, the Nazis invaded his country. Although Soros’ family was Jewish, they managed to evade capture, disguising themselves as Christians, and even helped transport other Jews to safety. Altogether, about half a million Hungarian Jews were murdered during this period. Learn more on Discover the Networks about George Soros.
The end of the war didn’t bring relief to Soros and his family, however. The communist party, backed by the Soviet Union, quickly came to power and Soros was forced to flee. He landed in London, where he studied economics at the famed London School of Economics while holding down a series of part-time jobs on the side.
His fortunes soon changed, however, when he headed for the United States in 1956. He used his mathematical expertise to begin working in finance and soon became wealthy. In 1970 he struck out for himself and founded his own investment firm, Soros Fund Management.
The fund grew and grew in success, becoming when of the highest grossing funds of all time. Soros was soon worth billions of dollars.
Soros plowed his fortune into philanthropic works and soon founded the Open Society Foundations, to promote democratic governance, freedom of expression, and clean government across the world. Know more on investopedia.com about George Soros.
In South Africa, George Soros funded scholarships for black South African students who were struggling under that country’s then-apartheid leadership. In the 1980s he launched an initiative to help disseminate banned reading material in Central and Eastern Europe by supplying democratic activists with photocopy machines. With the fall of communism and the opening of the Iron Curtain to the west, Soros founded a university and paid for cultural exchanges between artists and students that did a great deal to open up the East and foster a democratic culture.
Soros has also been involved with drug legalization in the United States and Western Europe. He would like to see drugs decriminalized, and has said that the war against drugs might be more harmful than drugs, themselves. He’s also been a firm advocate of same-sex marriage and has bankrolled efforts to help Europe’s Roma advance in society.
He doesn’t limit his money to his own foundation, either. He’s given large sums to the International Crisis Group, the European Council on Foreign Relations, Global Witness and others.
Soros, now in his 80s, continues traveling the world and dealing with humanity’s gravest issues. He meets with world leaders and implores them to take his advice.