George Soros is a renown philanthropist, investor author, and politician. He was born in Hungary on 12th August 1930, in a Jewish family. He and his family survived and helped others in the 1944-1945 war when Nazi-occupied Hungary and murdered over half a million Jews living in Hungary. Soros emigrated to London in 1947 for studies at London School of Economics where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and later on a Master’s in Philanthropy. He relocated to the United States and ventured into financial investments in 1956.
Soros launched Soros Fund Management, his most successful hedge fund in 1970 just a year after his first hedge fund Double eagle which was later renamed to Quantum funds. Soros Fund Management, is, in fact, the most successful hedge fund in the history of the United States, which has seen him rank as one of the richest people in the world.
What of his philanthropy.
Soros began his philanthropic acts in 1979 when he gave scholarships during apartheid to the Blach South Africans and also provided photocopiers the Eastern Europeans during Cold War for reprinting banned texts by the communist governments. Ever since he has donated to many other organizations not to mention political giving in the United States and a nonfailing donor of the pro-democracy organizations all over the world. His donations have been playing a key role in advancing human rights, education, public health, rule of law, transportation, among others. In 2009, he made a wholesome donation in New York to unlimited underprivileged children aged between 3-17 years, with each child getting $200.
Soros started making political donations in 2004, when he donated $23.5 million to 527 Groups, resisting the re-election of George Bush. A new, stronger, political fundraising group, Democratic Alliance, was formed after Bush won the elections which Soros joined other donors in funding.
Later on, he supported the re-election of President Barrack Obama in 2012 by donating $1 million as well as Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections, where he made a series of donation since 2013.
The Multi-billion Donation
The 87 years old philanthropist has recently hit the news headlines when he made an enormous donation of $18 billion to Open Society Foundation, a grant-making foundation which has been in existence since 1979 and spread over 100 countries, globally. This donation, which is almost 80% of his wealth, has ranked OSF in the top three largest charitable foundations in the world. Soros has already made a donation of $32 billion since the foundation was established, including the prior $14 billion he had already given away.
The philanthropist Demonized
However, Soros philanthropic deeds have not always been applauded. In fact, this liberal-minded billionaire has faced several accusations by nationalists and elected officials across the world, claiming that he is using his money to push forth his liberal values to their societies. In Europe, there seems to be a political strategy spearheading to De-legitimize all Soros project, while in Hungary a list of alleged Soros journalist agents was printed by the rightwing president. This came up after he made a donation amidst the tension in the government over academic and press freedom.
Nevertheless, the negative perception has not put Soros down, as he plainly states on his website that: “I occupy an exceptional position. My success in the financial markets has given me a greater degree of independence than most other people. This allows me to take a stand on controversial issues: in fact, it obliges me to do so.”
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