Giving back is one of the greatest things that people in positions of power or wealth (or both) can do. George Soros, a world-renowned investor, has done just as much for philanthropy as he has for the financial world. Becoming famous after shorting the British pound, to the tune of nearly a billion dollars, Soros has steadily risen up the wealthy ranks in the world. Now, Soros is taking a step back — intentionally. It was recently released that Soros has donated nearly $18 billion of own wealth to charity in order to help combat some of the greatest problems facing the world today. Let’s look closer at the career of George Soros and how he came to make this decision.
In order to fully appreciate how George Soros has committed life to charity, we must first look at where he came from. Soros was born and raised in Hungary. He was just a kid when the Nazi regime rolled into town in the ’30s in order to belong their brutal, year-long occupation. Over the course of that year, Soros would watch as untold numbers of friends and family members were dragged off, thrown into concentration camps, and killed. Instead of losing hope, Soros and his family helped to smuggle out as many people as possible before ultimately making a run for it themselves by emigrating to London.
In London Soros would work multiple jobs in order to pay his way through school. It was during his time at university that Soros would become familiar with the writing of Karl Popper and the concept of the Open Society Foundations. This writing, which argued for a humanist approach to viewing the world, would ultimately inform Soros’ philanthropic efforts throughout the years.
Soros would establish the Open Society Foundations in the ’70s and it would soon become his point of pride. The OSF has given nearly $19 billion to grassroots foundations around the world. Now, Soros has essentially doubled their outgoing efforts. Soros recently donated $18 billion to his charity in order to bolster their donation efforts in foreseeable future. Soros’ decision to move the bulk of his wealth to charity may be eschewed by some, but it really is just an extension of the beliefs that he has fostered all along. Soros made a statement via his website regarding the recent donation by saying that his success ultimately allows him the freedom to donate more than “most other people”. Pushing that thought further, Soros says, “It obliges me to do so because others cannot.”
Whether or not Soros donated $18 billion or $1 billion, his effort and outreach are laser-focused on the things that matter to him. The OSF is focused on global issues like humanitarian aid, human rights, justice reform, transparent governance, and social justice. With this new boost of money, George Soros and the Open Society Foundations should have some renewed success in their efforts to help change the world. We’ll look to see what else Soros does in the coming years in order to bolster his work with the OSF.
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