The Origins Of George Soros

Hungarian-American businessman and hedge fund manager George Soros is famous worldwide for his generous philanthropy. A recent report for the New York Times shows that Soros has donated a staggering $18 billion dollars to his Open Society Foundations over the past couple of years. These donations, which have occurred in increments were only made public knowledge in October 2017.

Soros has been active in a number of areas around the globe. In the 1970’s he began to fund groups like Poland’s Solidarity Movement and Czechoslovakia’s Charter 77, who were dissenting against the Soviet-era communist governments. His Open Society Organizations have helped rebuild the nations of Eastern and Central Europe since the fall of the Soviet Union. They help the people of these countries peacefully bring about democratization. Though born in Hungary, Soros received his higher education in England at the London School of Economics. He only worked in England for a short time. He was employed by a merchant bank known as Singer and Friedlander until 1956.

In 1956 Soros received an offer from an American firm: F.M. Mayer. European stocks were becoming popular in American market, and F.M. Mayer valued Soros’s expertise on the subject. They weren’t the only ones to value his expertise, however, and three years after moving to New York Soros entertained and then accepted a job offer from Wertheim & Co. He worked there analyzing European securities, until 1963 at which point he became the vice president of another firm: Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder.

While at Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Soros formed the Double Eagle hedge fund as wells as Soros Fund Management. The Double Eagle hedge fund was created with an initial investment of $4 million, which was then invested in a variety of stocks. When Soros pulled out of Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder in 1973 the Double Eagle hedge fund was valued at over $12 million. Soros then became full-time chairman of Soros Fund Management and began his philanthropy work. In 1984 in Budapest, Hungary, Soros founded the first Open Society Institute.

Besides their work in Central and Eastern Europe, the Open Society Institutes also do a great deal of work in Africa. His $50 million Millennium Promise hopes to annihilate poverty in Africa by providing education, medical help, and agriculture to the poor. This program, as well as a $100 million effort to build Russian Universities a quality internet infrastructure, were both noted by Time magazine in 2007.

In 2009 $35 million from Soros and $140 million from the state of New York funded a program to assist underprivileged children and families, specifically those already receiving benefits. This program, and much more like it, will be funded for years to come due to Soros’s recent $18 billion donation to the Open Society Foundations.

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