Like most, I tend to have a narrow view of people that are extremely rich, that is until I read about George Soros. Born to Hungarian parents that were Jewish in 1930, Soros and his family survived the brutal Nazi persecution of over 500,00 Hungarian Jews. Soros studied at the London School of Economics while working as a night porter and nightclub waiter and eventually immigrated to the United States in 1956. At this point, George Soros earned a fortune in the world of finance and investing and opened Soros Fund Management in 1970.
Soros started his endeavors in philanthropy in 1979 by giving scholarships to black South Africans during the apartheid era. Soros founded the central European University after the Berlin Wall came down to engender critical thinking – unheard of for the time at universities in the former Soviet States. He also funded cultural exchanges between Eastern Europe and the West to help open the eastern block to more progressive ideologies. Soros has been openly critical of the war on drugs while being a catalyst for the medical marijuana movement. Soros has also been a vocal backer of those fighting for the rights of same-sex couples in their efforts to legally marry. Read more about George at The New York Times.
Soros has supported thousands of lawyers and paralegals fighting for the rights of those wrongfully incarcerated over the years. He has given financial aid to many thousands of students from marginalized groups that showed promise. As well, Soros has supported groups outside of his own Open Societies Foundation, including; Global Witness, The International Crisis Group, and The Institute for New Economic Thinking. George Soros established the Open Society Foundations.
To put a more precise gauge to the level that Soros cares about helping disadvantaged and disenfranchised people the world over – His current total in dollars given to help those in need equals 12 billion. I humbly admit to being in awe that a man of his vast wealth has given so much of his time, money and mind to making the world a better place. Even now in his 80’s Soros travels and advocates for changes and the ideals that he believes in. Soros champions what many consider the lost causes of the world that may never be resolved.
If like me, you have mostly spent your life as a skeptic of the world’s “super rich”, I highly encourage you to visit Open Society Foundation’s web page about their founder George Soros. Until today I had never heard of George Soros. Sometimes the world’s greatest people are ones that we have never heard of.