It was reported by Forbes that George Soros has made a donation of 18 billion dollars to his Open Society Foundations. The donations have been made incrementally over the past few years and will help the Open Society Foundations continue their worldwide philanthropy. Soros was born in Budapest in 1930, where he lived until 1947 at which time the Soros family moved to England. He attended the London School of Economics, earning a bachelor’s degree.
He initially struggled to find work, submitting applications to every merchant bank he could. It wasn’t until 1954 that he was hired by a merchant bank in London known as Singer and Friedlander. In 1956 Soros was offered a position that dealt with European stocks at F.M. Mayer in New York City. He moved to New York and worked at F.M. Mayer until 1959 at which time he became a European Securities analyst for Wertheim & Co., also based in New York City.
In 1963 Soros became the vice president of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder. In 1969 he formed the Double Eagle hedge fund with an initial investment of $4 million. In 1970 he created Soros Fund Management, acting as the chairman of the organization. By 1973 the Double Eagle hedge fund had grown to a value of $12 million. George Soros left the Double Eagle hedge fund and Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder, choosing instead to focus on his own organizations.
Soros’s philanthropy and political involvement began in 1979. He financed several different groups in central and Eastern Europe to try and peaceful remove communist governments. His funding has a large impact to this day regarding the political revolution of former Soviet nations. The first of Soros’s many Open Society Institutes was opened in Hungary in 1954 and had a budget of $3 million.
Soros became involved in American Politics during the 2004 presidential election. He financially backed a new fundraising group called the Democracy Alliance, a group dedicated to spreading and implementing progressive ideas. In 2009 Soros gave a hefty donation of $35 million to the state of New York with instructions for the money to be used for underprivileged children and their families. The state of New York, with money received from the 2009 Federal Recovery Act, added an additional $140 million to the fund.
Soros was recognized by Time Magazine in 2007 for his acts of philanthropy, specifically his help in creating an internet infrastructure for Russian Universities and for his Millennium Promise which provides education and medical care to impoverished African nations. The Open Society Foundations operate internationally and promote democratization in nations once controlled by Soviet Communism. His donation of $18 billion will advance the cause significantly.
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