George Soros is known to many as one of the world’s most wealthy people. To those who know him well he is one of the most generous men, donating billions of dollars of his fortune in order to further the social justice issues that he believes needs to be addressed. This was ever present in January of 2018 when Soros announced that he has donated $18 billion to the Open Society Foundations over the past few years. For Soros, this was over two-thirds of his $26 billion fortune he has amassed as an investor. This comes on the heels of the $11 billion he has donated over the past 40 years to progressive and liberal groups in the United States and abroad.
The announcement makes the Open Society Foundation second only to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the largest foundation of its kind in the entire world. The foundation was founded by George in 1993 in New York City and currently has a presence in 37 countries around the world. The name “Open Society” stems from the popular book by Karl Popper, whom Soros studied under as a student.
Born in Nazi-occupied Hungary in 1930, George Soros escaped to the United Kingdom to attend college in 1947. From the late 1940s to 1954, Soros obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Philosophy from London School of Economics. Early on in his adult life, George struggled to find work but finally got a job in banking in New York City for F.M. Mayer buying and selling European stocks.
After this big break, Soros became an expert of sorts in the European marketplace, using his theory of reflexivity to locate booms and busts in the market. This theory served him well and he eventually became vice president at Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, where he worked from 1963-1973. This job did not particularly suit him and in 1966 he used $100,000 of his company’s money to invest using his own theory. By 1973, he had amassed a sum of over $12 million in this fund.
Using his fund, over the next 20 years Soros would become one of the richest men in the world. In the early 90s he shorted the British pound at a time when shorting a major currency was unheard of. This move resulted in an over $1 billion profit, cementing Soros as one of the world’s most savvy investors. After starting the Open Society Foundation, Soros has made his life’s work to influence society through philanthropic work and politics. He is the largest single donor to Democratic Party in the United States, lobbying for liberal ideas such as open border, abortion, and drug policy reform.
George Soros has dedicated his life’s work to progressive ideas and helping the needy. His contributions to economic theory is perhaps understated because of his philanthropy but nevertheless, Soros is one of the great economists of the 20th century. His current net worth after this donation, is now estimated at $8 billion.
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