George Soros was born on August 12, 1930. He is an American businessman and philanthropist of Hungarian descent. His political ideas were influenced by his early childhood experiences, and he grew up supporting capitalism. He had an estimated net worth of $8.6 billion in March 2021, after donating more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations, of which $15 billion had already been dispersed, or for 64 percent of his initial fortune. According to Forbes, he is the “most generous giver” (in terms of percentage of net worth). Let us honor this exceptional individual today.
The Man Who Broke the Bank of England
August 12, 1930
George Soros has firsthand experience with intolerance. He was born on August 12, 1930, in Hungary, during the Nazi occupation from 1944 to 1945, during which time, over 500,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered. His own Jewish family managed to live by obtaining fraudulent identification papers, disguising their identities, and assisting others in doing the same. Soros left Budapest in 1947 for London, working part-time as a train porter and a nightclub waiter to support his studies at the London School of Economics as the Communists secured power in Hungary after the war. He went to the United States in 1956, intending to make his fortune in the world of banking and investments.
He established his hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, in 1973 and went on to become one of the most successful investors in American history. Soros used his riches to form the Open Society Foundations, a worldwide network of foundations, partners, and projects. In 1979, Soros began his philanthropy by providing scholarships to black South Africans living in Apartheid-era South Africa. In the 1980s, he supported budding independent cultural groups and other efforts in Communist Hungary by funding academic travels to the West and funding academic trips to the West. He founded the Central European University after the fall of the Berlin Wall as a venue to develop critical thinking, which was an alien concept at the time at most universities in the former Communist bloc. With the end of the Cold War, he progressively expanded his philanthropy to include the United States, Africa, Latin America, and Asia, sponsoring a wide range of new initiatives aimed at making society more accountable, transparent, and democratic. He was one of the first prominent voices to denounce the drug war as “arguably more destructive than the drug problem itself,” and he was instrumental in the birth of the medicinal marijuana movement in the United States. He became an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage movements in the early 2000s. His causes changed throughout time, but they remained true to his ideas of an open society.
Soros continues to take an active personal interest in the Open Society Foundations’ work, traveling extensively to promote it and advocating for beneficial policy changes with world leaders both publicly and privately. The Open Society Foundations stated in 2017 that Soros had donated $18 billion of his fortune to the Foundations’ future efforts, bringing his total generosity to the Foundations to over $32 billion since 1984. Soros has had three marriages and two divorces. He married Annaliese Witschak, an ethnic German immigrant who was orphaned during the war, in 1960. Although she was not Jewish, Soros’ parents loved her since she had also suffered the hardships and exile brought on by World War II. They divorced in 1983 after having three children. George Soros married Susan Weber in 1983. They divorced in 2005 after having two children. Soros met Tamiko Bolton in 2008, and the two married on September 21, 2013.
He establishes his hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, becoming one of the most successful investors in American history.
“The Alchemy of Finance” reveals the investment strategies that have made him the most powerful and profitable investor in the world today.
He makes an investment profit of $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday crisis in the U.K. gaining the name “The Man Who Broke the Bank of England.”
Open Society Foundations is a worldwide network of foundations, partners, and projects.
Soros signs on to co-chair the national finance council for Ready for Hillary, the super PAC laying the groundwork for a potential Hillary Clinton presidential bid in 2016.
“Forbes” magazine lists Soros as the 162nd richest person in the world, with a net worth of $8.3 billion.
Why We Love George Soros
He is philanthropic
He has donated more than $32 billion of his fortune to the Open Society Foundations' global mission. Thousands of promising students who would otherwise have been denied opportunities due to their identification or where they reside have benefited from the foundation's support.
He is an activist
Soros knows when to speak up, in addition to his humanitarian work. Under his guidance, the Open Society Foundations have supported individuals and organizations around the world working for freedom of expression, accountable government, and societies that promote justice and equality. He also became an outspoken supporter of same-sex marriage movements in the early 2000s.
His unbeatable legacy
One thing has been constant throughout Soros' philanthropic legacy: a commitment to solving the world's most intractable issues. He is noted for emphasizing the need of addressing losing causes. Soros once wrote, "My success in the financial markets has given me a higher degree of independence than most other people." Because of his independence, he has been able to carve his way toward a more open, just, and equal world for all.
5 Surprising Facts
He named his foundation after Karl Popper
Popper's book "The Open Society and Its Enemies" inspired the name of his philanthropic foundation.
He has dual citizenship
Coming of Hungarian descent, he also holds American citizenship.
France had a warrant for his arrest
Soros was found guilty in France on charges of insider trading and was fined 2.2 million euros.
George Soros is not his real name
He was born Gyorgy Schwartz in Hungary; the family name was changed to Soros in 1936 to hide their Jewish heritage.
He was sued because of his dog
His black Labrador given to his son bit someone and they faced a $250 fine in addition to the dog being isolated.
George Soros FAQs
Does George Soros own Bitcoin?
Yes, he does.
How much of Google does George Soros own?
He owns 3.10% in the portfolio and 2% in change.
Is Paul Soros related to George Soros?
He was the older brother of Soros.
George Soros’s birthday dates