The New York Times reports that George Soros has made a donation of 18 billion dollars to his philanthropic organizations known as Open Society Foundations. The donation has been made in incremental gifts over the past few years but was only made public knowledge in October 2017. Born in Budapest in 1930, George Soros immigrated to England in 1947. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics and then a master’s degree in philosophy.
He began his career at Singer and Friedlander, a merchant bank based in London in 1954. Two years later he applied for a job and was accepted by F.M. Mayer. He moved to New York City to work at F.M. Mayer’s headquarters, specializing in European stocks. In 1959 he left F.M. Mayer and became a European Securities analyst at Wertheim & Co. In 1963 Soros moved companies again, this time becoming vice president at Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder. During this time he created two different funds. The first, the Double Eagle hedge fund was created in 1969. The next year he formed Soros Fund Management and become the chairman.
In 1973, in order to avoid a perceived conflict of interests, Soros left the Double Eagle fund and quit his position at Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder. Soros began to become politically active. In 1979, as a proponent of open societies, Soros began to fund dissident groups in communist countries. Some prominent activists that received help from Soros include Poland’s Solidarity Movement and Andrei Sakharov in the Soviet Union.
In 1984 Soros used $3 million to open the first of many Open Society Institutes. The initial institute was located in Hungary. Soros’s Open Society Foundations, his main vehicle for philanthropy work, make efforts around the world to promote peace and democracy. These foundations work mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, helping to rebuild nations that were once under Soviet rule and to non-violently bring about democratic forms of government. An estimation by PBS concluded that Soros had donated a total of $4 billion to the Open Society Foundations by 2003.
In 2007 two specific Soros projects were applauded by Time Magazine. The first was a $100 million project to build an infrastructure that supported internet use in Russian Universities. The other was Soros’s Millennium Promise which targets the elimination of extreme poverty throughout the continent of Africa by providing education and advanced medical care. Soros’s most recent and largest donation of $18 billion will go a long way to continue the great work his Open Society Foundations have done.
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