Earlier this year, billionaire George Soros was listed by FORBES as the 20th richest person in America. But his recent transfer of $18 billion from his home office, Soros Fund Management, to his own giant philanthropic organization, Open Society Foundations, has dropped him down significantly on the list.
Prior to the transfer, Mr. Soros was listed as the 20th richest person in America on the Forbes 400 list with a $23 billion fortune. $3 billion of the donation had already been accounted for by FORBES, and with the additional $15 billion, he is now listed as the 59th richest, with an estimated net worth of $8 billion, and his Website.
The donation will be managed by the Soros Fund Management office. “We’re going to operate as dictated by the needs and opportunities around the world, continuing to advance justice, human rights and democratic practice,” said Laura Silber, Chief Communications Officer at Open Society Foundations.
As one of the world’s leading philanthropists, Mr. Soros has given away more than $32 million of his personal fortune to Open Society Foundations over the years, which supports organizations fighting for freedom of expression and societies promoting justice and equality, to name a few. Thousands of promising students who would have been denied academic opportunities because of their identity or where they live are also benefactors of Open Society Foundations, which provides fees to schools and universities around the world.
Born in Hungary in 1930 and having survived the Nazi occupation during World War II, George Soros moved to London in 1947 and eventually emigrated to the United States in 1956. Soon thereafter he entered the busy world of finance and investments where he would make his fortune on Wall Street by opening his own hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, becoming one of the most successful investors in the history of the United States.
‘The man who broke the Bank of England’, a nickname he earned in 1992 when he made a hefty bet against the British pound because he was selling off the currency at alarming rates and forced the government to devalue their legal tender, founded Open Society Foundations more than 30 years ago. They promote democracy and civil rights in over 120 countries, and in recent years has been focusing its interest in the United States with investments in programs to help gay and lesbian rights and to reduce abuses by the police.
Mr. Soros has also made major contributions to the Democratic Party, including Hillary Clinton. During the last presidential campaign he donated millions of dollars to super PACs that opposed Donald Trump and supported other Democratic candidates and causes, and learn more about George Soros.
“My success in the financial markets has given me a greater degree of independence than most other people,” Mr. Soros once wrote. “This allows me to take a stand on controversial issues: In fact, it obliges me to do so because others cannot.”
Sources: Forbes Magazine, The New York Times, Open Society Foundations, and www.georgesoros.com/philanthropy/