If there is a billionaire philanthropist who has put his money where his mouth is, it undoubtedly has to be George Soros. In all, he has given away a mind boggling figure of $12 billion over the years. He has proved to be a pillar of support for both people and institutions all over the world. He has been very forthcoming in helping those who strive for free expression, integrity, accountability, fair-play, and equal rights.
He has extended financial support to groups like the Roma community, drug addicts, workers from the sex industry and the LGBT community. The fact that he takes up cudgels on behalf of the oppressed and marginalized might have something to do with his own background of being a Hungarian Jew who saw Nazi occupation of his homeland first hand. His own family escaped by the skin of their teeth by submitting counterfeit papers hiding their true identity. Read more at Politico about George Soros.
Soros proceeded to London where he worked as a porter with the railways and a nightclub waiter to finance his London School of Economics course. He went to the US in 1956 where he made his wealth in finance and investment.
His moment of glory came after he launched the hedge fund, Soros Fund Management in 1970 and soon became one of the most successful traders in America ever. Putting his wealth to good use Soros opened the now famous Open Society endeavor that was really a sprawling network of projects, and partners in over a hundred countries. Their mandate was to profess Soros’s cherished ideals of free governance, freedom of speech and individual rights.
George Soros charitable endeavors began in real earnest in 1979 in South Africa when he provided support to black students at the time that the racist Apartheid regime held sway. He supported those calling for reforms in the former communist block of East Europe by providing them with photocopiers that helped reprint proscribed texts. The fall of the Berlin Wall prompted him to create the Central European University to encourage critical thinking, an unheard of concept in the ex- communist nations.
The end of the communist block saw him extend his philanthropy efforts to the U.S., and other continents where he supported a large number of initiatives in the realms of accountability, transparency, and democracy. As a matter of fact he was an early proponent of the first people to denounce the war on drugs as being worse than the problem it was purportedly facing. His efforts led to the start of the medical marijuana initiative in the US. Another pioneering effort of his was to come out in support of gay matrimony in the year 2000. Visit projectsyndicate.com to know more about George.
Whatever may have been the cause he supported it basically never veered away from his basic ideals of a free community that he held so dearly.