George Soros is one of the world’s leading philanthropists, having given away more than $12 billion thus far. His funds have encouraged organizations and individuals throughout the planet to fight for freedom of expression, transparency, accountable government, and societies which promote equality and justice.This contribution has frequently focused on people who face discrimination just because of who they are. He’s supported many people who are pushed into the margins of mainstream culture, including drug users, sex workers, and LGBTI individuals.Back in 1970, he started his own hedge fund, Soros Fund Management, and also proceeded to become one of the most prosperous investors in the world.
Soros used his fortune to create the Open Society Foundations, an organization that has locations or impacts over 100 nations. Its function, from its own title, reflects the impact on Soros’ thinking by Karl Popper. Soros first met Popper in the London School of Economics. Popper’s thinking allowed Soros to develop an ethos based around absolute truth, that societies can only flourish when they enable democratic governance, freedom of expression, and respect for human rights.From the 1980s, George Soros helped encourage the open exchange of ideas from the Communist Eastern Bloc by supporting reprints of prohibited texts. Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall, he established the Central European University as a place to nurture critical thinking, an idea alien to most universities in former Soviet countries.
And he financed cultural exchanges between Eastern Europe and the West, playing a critical part in aiding the Soviet society to open itself to the world.With the Cold War over, he enhanced his philanthropy in the United States, Africa, and Asia, supporting a wide range of new attempts to cultivate more responsible, transparent, and democratic societies. He had been among the first dominant voices in criticizing the war on drugs as “arguably more detrimental than the drug problem itself,” and helped to jumpstart America’s medical marijuana movement. Ultimately, while many wealthy individuals have tried to influence politics, Soros’ contributions have largely been focused on philanthropy and democratic ideals.