New York Times reported in October 2017 that billionaire businessman and philanthropist George Soros made a donation of $18 billion to the Open Society Foundations. Soros created the first Open Society Foundation, known then as the Open Society Institute, in 1984. The Open Society Foundations have long been a champion in the fight for human rights and democracy. In the 1980’s and 1990’s the Open Society Foundations operated throughout Central and Eastern Europe rebuilding ex-Soviet nations and peacefully replacing communism with democracy.
Soros has performed philanthropy in Africa as well. The Open Initiative for Southern Africa, which Soros funded, was responsible for promoting regime change in Zimbabwe. Soros also funds the Millennium Promise, a $50 million project aimed at reducing the devastating effects of poverty by educating impoverished people as well as providing them with modern medical supplies and sustainable agricultural methods. In the United States, the Open Society Foundations promote social rights. In recent years they have invested in programs designed to reduce police brutality, to protect LGBTQ citizens, and to end hate crimes.
Mr. Soros has also been active in politics in the United States since the 2004 election. After the election, he began funding the Democracy Alliance, a group which promotes progressive ideas. He was also one of the first donors to the Center for American Progress. George Soros, born in Hungary, received his higher education in England at the London School of Economics. He worked in London for a short time at a merchant bank before moving to America.
Once in New York Soros began to work for F.M. Mayer, dealing mostly with European stocks, which had become quite popular at the time. In 1959 Soros moved from F.M. Mayer to Wertheim & Co., this time working with European securities. In 1963 Soros was asked to act as the vice president for Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder. In 1969, through money from the company’s investors and some of his own money, he formed the Double Eagle hedge fund worth $4 million. In 1970, while still vice president he created Soros Fund Management and become chairman.
In 1973, to avoid conflicts of interest, Soros left Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder as well as the Double Eagle hedge fund (now worth $12 million). In 1991, using market predicting methods he had developed, Soros foresaw a drop in the value of the British Pound, and invested heavily against it, making a large profit.
The $18 billion that Soros just donated, one of the largest donations in history, will go to the Open Society Foundations so that they can fund their work for years.
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