George Soros (born György Schwartz, August 12, 1930) is a Hungarian-born American billionaire investor and philanthropist. As of March 2021[update], he had a net worth of US$8.6 billion, having donated more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations, of which $15 billion have already been distributed, representing 64% of his original fortune, making him the "most generous giver" (in terms of percentage of net worth) according to Forbes.
August 12, 1930
|Education||London School of Economics (BSc, MSc)|
|Occupation||Investor, hedge fund manager, author, philanthropist|
(m. 1960; div. 1983)
(m. 1983; div. 2005)
|Children||5, including Jonathan and Alexander|
|Relatives||Paul Soros (brother)|
Born in Budapest to a non-observant Jewish family, Soros survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary and moved to the United Kingdom in 1947. He studied at the London School of Economics and was awarded a BSc in philosophy in 1951, and then a Master of Science degree, also in philosophy, in 1954.
Soros began his business career by taking various jobs at merchant banks in the United Kingdom and then the United States, before starting his first hedge fund, Double Eagle, in 1969. Profits from his first fund furnished the seed money to start Soros Fund Management, his second hedge fund, in 1970. Double Eagle was renamed to Quantum Fund and was the principal firm Soros advised. At its founding, Quantum Fund had $12 million in assets under management, and as of 2011[update] it had $25 billion, the majority of Soros's overall net worth.
Soros is known as "The Man Who Broke the Bank of England" because of his short sale of US$10 billion worth of pounds sterling, which made him a profit of $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis. Based on his early studies of philosophy, Soros formulated the General Theory of Reflexivity for capital markets, which he says renders a clear picture of asset bubbles and fundamental/market value of securities, as well as value discrepancies used for shorting and swapping stocks.
Soros is a supporter of progressive and liberal political causes, to which he dispenses donations through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations. Between 1979 and 2011, he donated more than $11 billion to various philanthropic causes; by 2017, his donations "on civil initiatives to reduce poverty and increase transparency, and on scholarships and universities around the world" totaled $12 billion. He influenced the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and provided one of Europe's largest higher education endowments to the Central European University in his Hungarian hometown.
His extensive funding of political causes has made him a "bugaboo of European nationalists". The New York Times reported in October 2018 that "conspiracy theories about him have gone mainstream, to nearly every corner of the Republican Party". Numerous American conservatives have promoted false claims that characterize Soros as a singularly dangerous "puppet master" behind many alleged global plots. Conspiracy theories targeting Soros, who is of Jewish descent, have often been described as antisemitic.