George Soros: Motivated to Help Others by A Difficult Background

George Soros is one of the most successful hedge fund managers. His personal wealth currently stands at $25 billion. However, despite his relative success, George Soros’s journey has not been easy. He was born in 1930 in Hungary to Jewish parents. When the Nazi forces occupied his homeland during the Second World War, he was one the few that escaped their persecution. This was all thanks to false identity documents prepared by his father. In total, it is estimated that up to half a million Hungarian Jews were not so lucky – the Nazis cruelly took their lives in concentration camps. While many would fold from the emotional pains of having to live through this experience, it only strengthened Soros’s resolve to succeed and made him passionate about democracy.

George Soros did later manage to flee Hungary for London, England. He attended school at the famed London School of Economics where he studied philosophy under Karl Popper. To cater for his studies, he had to work two jobs: as a waiter and a railway porter. After completing his studies, he commenced the humbling undertaking of looking for a Job. According to Soros, he wrote to every bank in England’s capital but only got a few replies. Ultimately, however, a merchant bank, Singer & Friedlander took him on as a clerk. After a few years at the bank, he moved to the United States where he worked as a securities trader and analyst at a number of banks before he moved out to form his own outfit. Thus in 1970, he launched his hedge fund, Soros Fund Management with a starting base of $12 million. Today, the fund is worth more than $25 billion.

Owing to the type of background he had, George Soros has long been passionate about putting his money towards good use. As such, he has strongly supported liberal causes throughout the world over the last three decades via his Open Society Foundations. The Open Society is a collection of organizations fighting for the protection of human rights and civil liberties. The first foundation Soros supported was in his native land of Hungary in 1984. Today, he supports more than two dozen national and regional foundations spread across the world.

In addition to political action, George Soros also puts a significant portion of his resources towards philanthropy. As early as the 1980s, he helped Black students access education at institutions of higher learning in apartheid South Africa. Additionally, in recent years he has pledged and contributed millions of dollars toward supporting immigrants and refugees. Having been a refugee at one point in his life, he understands the challenges many go through and the great need for help that often gets ignored.