What would you say of a man, who as a teenage Hungarian Jew escaped internment and possible death in a Nazi concentration camp, fled to England where he studied philosophy at the London School of Economics, while working as a waiter and night porter and eventually became the billionaire investor-philanthropist with a personal net worth of $25.2 billion dollars? Extraordinary doesn’t even begin to describe the many facets of this extraordinary 87-year-old Hungarian émigré, who made it big on Wall Street.
His greatest moment came in 1992 when he took a call on the British pound by shorting it and in the process made a huge profit. At the time he became known worldwide as the man who broke the Bank of England. He continues to be a name to reckon with, in the investment world with his Soros Fund Management possessing tens of billions of dollars in assets.
Aside from his business success, George Soros is a passionate supporter of worthy causes across the globe as well as a committed philanthropist, having donated as much as $12 billion down the years. Through his Open Society Foundations, he has worked for the betterment of society in over a hundred countries. His philanthropy has spanned nations, eras and ideologies. Starting in the year 1979 with scholarships for black South African students during the apartheid era, it included providing photocopiers to reprint reading material for dissidents in communist East Germany and helping open up the Eastern Block to the Western World.
He has been at the forefront of criticizing the war on drugs, backing the use of medical marijuana and supporting the cause of same-sex marriage. That apart he has helped lawyers and paralegals come to the rescue of thousands of unlawfully incarcerated people around the world. Though in his eighties Soros is just as passionately involved in the causes dear to him today, traveling the world to meet with world leaders and sharing his views about what needs to be done.
Of him, you could truly say that he is an enigma, but in a positive way. His experience of life has led him to believe that nothing unites mankind more than humanity itself- not religion, economic beliefs, a way of living or sexual orientation. The times have a funny way of swinging between liberalism to conservatism, but people like Soros stand firm like the rock of Gibraltar holding on to their precious beliefs about personal freedom and the brotherhood of man. George Soros established the Open Society Foundations.
There would scarcely be a man alive today, who has that breadth of experience and insight as Soros and if not as any people as there should, seek his advice on matters of importance the world is poorer for it. In today’s digital times where virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics are fast transforming the world into a Matrix-like super state where everything is inter-connected and regulated people like Soros are our link to a time, when real flesh and blood people made their fortune using their hands and heads and not with the help of some number crunching machines.
As for Soros himself, he soldiers on, steadfast in his beliefs and conviction, fully committed to the advancement of his ideals-a just and a compassionate world where everyone has the space to live life the way they want to, and not what someone else has in mind for them. He can do so because he has walked his talk. Always.
Recap-George Soros’ is an extraordinary story of the meteoric rise of a Hungarian Jewish émigré in the financial markets of the world and his equally remarkable commitment to philanthropy. From escaping internment in a Nazi concentration camp and studying at the famed London School of Economics to his rise on the New York Stock Exchange and his prescient shorting of the British pound in 1992 that made him a billionaire, his is one heck of a tail. Equally remarkable is his liberal philosophy of life and his putting his money where his mouth is by donating $12 billion of his own money to worthy causes over the years. Truly a man to emulate.
Read more about George at The New York Times.