Forbes and New York Times have reported that George Soros has made a donation of $18 billion to the Open Society Foundations. This donation, which accounts for more than two-thirds of Soros’s wealth will be used by the Open Society Foundations to fund their international philanthropy. Soros has been active in the philanthropy and political world since 1979. It was at that time the Soros began to provide financial backing to several groups, such as Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia, who dissented against their communist governments. It was also during this time that George Soros began to provide funding to black students attending the University of Cape Town in South Africa during apartheid.
It was 5 years later in 1984 that Soros opened his first (of what would eventually be many) Open Society Institute. The Institute, located in Soros’s native Hungary, had an initial budget of $3 million. The positive effects of George Soros’s philanthropy can be seen worldwide. He has made donations to scientist throughout Central and Eastern Europe aided civilians during the Siege of Sarajevo and supported Transparency International, a non-governmental group that fights corruption and crimes arising from corruption on a global scale.
Additionally, Soros has played a role in the peaceful move to democracy from communism in Hungary and he offered large endowment to Central European University in Budapest. George Soros’s career as a banker spans several decades. He moved to England in 1947 and began attending the London School of Economics. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a Master’s degree in philosophy.
He struggled initially to find a career in the banking industry and sold trinkets and souvenirs to survive. In 1954 he was finally hired by Singer and Friedlander, a merchant bank in London. Two years later he moved to New York City and began working as a European stock specialist at F.M. Mayer. He worked at F.M. Mayer for 5 years. In 1959 he went to Wertheim & Co. and worked as a European securities analyst. In 1963 Soros was made the vice president of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, an investment bank and fund management company. It was here that Soros’s created the Double Eagle hedge fund which grew from an initial value of $4 million to over $12 million over the course of four years.
In 1973 Soros left Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder and the Double Eagle hedge fund and begins running Soros Fund Management as the companies chairperson. George Soros’s massive donation of $18 billion will continue to aid the fight against poverty worldwide. It will also help the Open Society Foundations continue to spread democracy through the world.
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