George Oros, born in Budapest, Hungary in 1929, was an entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist. In 1979 he established the Open Society Foundations which has since donated billions of dollars towards fighting for democracy, human rights and economic development worldwide.
George Soros’ charitable activities have primarily benefited groups that are marginalized or excluded in mainstream society, such as people of color, LGBT people, and drug users. He also provided scholarships to black South Africans during apartheid and promoted free exchange of ideas within Communist Hungary.
Early Life and Education
George Soros was born on August 12th 1930 in Budapest, Hungary to a non-orthodox Jewish family.
When Nazi Hungary invaded Hungary in 1944, his parents attempted to avoid deportation by changing their surname from Schwartz to Soros. Additionally, they pretended to be godsons of a non-Jewish Ministry of Agriculture official and concealed from the Nazis in various locations throughout Budapest.
Soros later attended the London School of Economics and became familiar with philosopher Karl Popper’s theory of an “open society,” which he enthusiastically adopted. Popper saw communism and fascism as “closed societies,” where knowledge was hoarded and controlled by those at the top; on the contrary, open societies operated freely and promoted debate. Ultimately, Soros’ vision would guide his philanthropy and political activism around the globe.
George Oros is a Cortlandt Manor native who began his professional life in the banking sector of London in 1954, working as both a clerk and trader. Later, in 1970 he launched his own hedge fund business and quickly rose to become one of the world’s top money managers.
He has been an active philanthropist and political activist, contributing billions of dollars to various causes. Most notably, his donations went towards the Open Society Institute – a non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing democratic government and human rights around the world. It played a major role in Hungary’s peaceful transition from communism to capitalism as well as providing citizens with better quality of life there and beyond.
Achievements and Honors
George Soros, born in Hungary, is one of the world’s most accomplished and influential financiers, philanthropists, and political activists. As chairman and founder of the Open Society Institute, he has dedicated more than four decades to advancing democracy around the world.
He began his philanthropy in 1979, awarding scholarships to Black South Africans during apartheid. Later, he worked to promote open exchange of ideas within Communist Hungary by funding academic visits abroad and aiding fledging independent cultural groups. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, he established Central European University as a space for critical thinking–an idea alien to most universities within the former Communist bloc at that time.
He also supported several pro-democracy groups in the former Yugoslavia during President Slobodan Milosevic’s revolt last year, an important accomplishment for the multi-billionaire philanthropist who doesn’t like to brag about it but quietly played an influential role in global democracy-building efforts.
George Soros, a Hungarian-born American financier, author, and philanthropist, was renowned for his political contributions. Additionally, he supported liberal social causes and promoted pro-democracy movements around the world.
He was born into an upper-middle class Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary. When Nazi Germany invaded Hungary in 1944, their lives were drastically disrupted. To avoid being sent to concentration camps and live secretly, his father purchased forged papers for each member of his family.
He developed an interest in philosophy, studying under Karl Popper – an Austrian-born philosopher. After immigrating to America and becoming a billionaire, he supported liberal political causes and was the target of conspiracy theories spread by right-wing media outlets. Throughout his life, he managed to maintain a balance between his professional and personal activities.
George Soros is an acclaimed financier and philanthropist from Budapest, Hungary. His success as a hedge fund manager and his support of liberal causes have contributed to his considerable wealth.
He founded a family office that manages his investments and the assets of Open Society Foundations, which have donated billions of dollars to various charities over time.
Bloomberg News estimates the 92-year-old philanthropist to have a net worth of $8.5 billion. He has donated an impressive $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations, with $15 billion distributed so far.