It’s not every day you see someone just give away $18 billion dollars for charitable causes. But that is exactly what billionaire philanthropist and champion human rights fighter George Soros did a few months back. The founder of high profile and highly respected civil and human rights group, Open Society Foundations, gave $18 billion dollars for the foundation.
Some may ask “why is Mr. Soros so keen on helping with causes related human rights?” The answer is simple. He himself was a refugee at one time and saw first-hand how humans can treat their fellow humans badly. This happened when his home country of Hungary was overrun by a Nazi invasion. It took the legal smarts of his father to stay one step ahead of them before they packed their bags and moved to England.
After moving to England, he did various jobs, including working as a waiter and porter, and put himself through college. He attended the prestigious London School of Economics and worked in various banking and finance related jobs in England. He moved once again this time to the US and started his own hedge fund company. The company started with $12 million in assets and eventually grew to become a $25 billion company. A lion’s share of this belonged Soros himself.
While working in the hedge fund markets he felt the need to get involved in philanthropy related human rights causes. His venture into this field was in 1979 when he got involved with human rights causes in South Africa. His work there allowed many South African children who were suffering under the discrimination of apartheid get scholarships to attend school. As Communism began to collapse in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, he did his share of work in making sure parts of Europe would witness a peaceful transition from Communism to Capitalism.
The Open Society Foundation is involved in five main areas. They are; rights and justice, education and youth, health, governance, and accountability. The foundation has a presence in over 100 countries on all five continents. As mentioned, Mr. Soros is passionate about education and he has given generously to Central European University, based in his home country of Hungary. Read more at CNN Money.
Ultimately, he is most passionate about fighting human rights abuses and racism. This includes some of the things that happened in his home country, the US. This past election, he was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton, because he was alarmed by the outbreak of discrimination and blatant racism that has surfaced during the election campaign as well as what happened afterward.
To date, George Soros has given away close to $32 billion of his personal fortune for philanthropic causes. At 87, he is showing no signs of slowing down as he crisscrosses the globe taking part in meetings, and various events connected with Open Society Foundation. He has also written numerous books and articles related to finance and investing as well as geopolitical matters. Read this story about George at fortune.com.