When George Soros was a six-year-old child growing up Budapest, Hungry, his father Teodoro Schwartz changed his family’s name to Soros. It means “will soar” in the constructed European language of Esperanto. The elder Soros couldn’t have chosen a better name for his young son who would grow up and “soar” to spectacular financial success.
Today, George Soros is worth an estimated $25.2 billion making him one of the 30 wealthiest men in the world. He became a naturalized American citizen in 1961. He established his first hedge fund in 1969 which provided the money he needed to establish the Soros Fund Management. This group of funds was eventually rebranded as the Quantum Fund.
At age 86, George Soros is one of the most well-known men in America and globally, not merely for his wealth, but more so for his unrelenting investment in political causes and social issues. These causes tend to dovetail with the agenda of the Democratic Party in the United States. This has made him a frequent political target in some circles, especially those that tend to favor the Republican Party in the U.S. and other decidedly right-leaning forces around the world.
Soros himself, however, says he is only following his vision for creating the kind of world he would like to live in – a world where the people on the bottom of the economic ladder have just as much opportunity to get ahead as those already at the top. Soros has been an ardent supporter of anti-racial discrimination programs, and he has given powerful support to minorities and immigrant groups worldwide.
George Soros established the Open Society Foundations.
Soros has directed his philanthropic attention on an international scale, donating an estimated $13 billion over the past 30 years to nonprofits organization that defend human rights, shape democratic institutions in Eastern Europe and increase health care and education programs around the globe.
During the 2016 Presidential campaign in the U.S., Soros was a heavy backer of Hillary Clinton whom he has known for more than 25 years. But Soros’ political philanthropy in America went well beyond the top of the Democratic ticket. For example, he made significant donations to small, local contests in key locations around the country, including an effort to help candidates of minority status win seats in District Attorney Races.
From supporting homeless shelters and food shelf programs, to funding campaigns that raise awareness about racial discrimination and bias, George Soros has been a relentless force coming to the aid of people who tend to be powerless in society, or need protection from noxious agents that prey upon the disadvantaged.
Learn more about his profile at Forbes.com.