Many billionaires who become major philanthropists publicize their work to the maximum potential, but for hedge fund billionaire George Soros much of the impressive work he completes is never publicized for public consumption. Instead, Soros simply seeks out the areas of interest to himself and finds groups who carry similar values and beliefs that allow him to make donations to their group without feeling as though he is compromising his principles. Forbes reports George Soros has used his own Soros Fund Management hedge fund company to create a personal fortune estimated at over $25 billion in 2017; this impressive level of personal wealth is matched by the fact Soros has given away a reported $12 billion of his personal wealth to causes he feel extend his own beliefs in an open society.
The term “open society” comes up often in the philanthropic work of George Soros as he has spent the majority of his adult life living and working under this philosophical theory that has its origins in France. The Open Society Foundations explains George Soros was born in Hungary in 1930 and faced personal persecution following the occupation of his home country by Nazi forces in the latter years of World War II; surviving the Holocaust that claimed the lives of more than 500,000 members of Hungary’s Jewish community has given Soros a desire to aid those he feels are given a full and fitting place in modern society. The open society theory that has proven such a major influence on the life and work of George Soros was interpreted for him by philosopher Karl Popper during his studies at the London School of Economics. The core principles of the open society include the protection of human rights, freedom of expression, and perhaps the aspect closest to the heart of George Soros in securing democratic governance for all members of a community.
Making sure every person on the planet has access to a democratic form of government has informed the work of the man who spent much of the 1960s living in the counterculture base of Greenwich Village, New York; George Soros began his philanthropic career in 1979 when he began providing funds for young black men to attend university in Apartheid divided South Africa. Other aspects of his work to secure democracy for those living under constrictive regimes include the purchasing of copying equipment in the 1980s and 90s to help secure the release from suppression of millions of people living in what was then the Soviet Eastern Bloc. Soros has also focused much of his work on the U.S. where he has been working to protect the rights of minorities during elections and to secure greater levels of freedom for members of the LGBT community.
Learn more about George at Biography.com