George Soros started his auspicious career as a young man fleeing communist Hungary. He came to London, where he put himself through the School of Economics, working and studying at the same time. After that, he came to New York, where he founded his hedge fund now known at the Quantum Fund. His current wealth is in the area of $25 billion, but through all of that, he never has forgotten the roots in poverty and oppression from whence he came.
Soros has donated billions of dollars to both charitable and political causes, making him one of the most active philanthropists in the world. Many of those causes tie directly to his experiences as a young, Hungarian Jew. First, he witnessed NAZI occupation as a teenager and then the tyranny of Soviet communism. Those events have remained with him, and they have helped to forma world view that resonates as much in his actions as in his words.
Some of his first philanthropic ventures were to provide educational scholarships to black South Africans during the years of Apartheid. As a young Jewish man under NAZI occupation, he learned about what it was like to be considered a second class citizen – to be considered less than others because of your birth. He found a way to express his morality through putting money where his mouth was, and Soros has never looked back. Know more on investopedia.com about George Soros.
His family has donated more than $12 billion over the decades since those first scholarships. He has fought for LGBT rights, social justice, and economic fairness. He has also given money to political groups that align with him on these key values.
One of the more controversial would be his support of a “Right to Die with Dignity”, a cause at the forefront of social understanding. He experienced difficulties with watching his mother slowly pass away in pain from illness. Soros has spoken about facing hard choices at the time. He then worked to help pass the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.
Another of his recent causes has been to fight for marijuana legalization. George Soros has a multitude of reasons for getting involved in this battle. First, he recognizes the social justice implications of no longer putting people in jail for cannabis, especially in how it impacts communities of color. Second, he argues for the much needed revenue in national, state, and municipal coffers that would be provided by taxing it. And third, he is a businessman who sees the tremendous economic benefits of a new, legal market for marijuana.
Even though some of his fights have lead to controversy that has not swayed him from sticking to his principles. For a young man who looked NAZI occupiers in the eye, fear of picketing conservatives likely seems trite. Know more about George Soros on CNBC.