The term “self-made” is often used these days. In fact, it would be safe to class it as a cliché. However, few people on this earth embody the true meaning of the phrase more than George Soros. Mr. Soros grew from relative obscurity to become the most successful hedge fund manager in the world. With an estimated net worth of $25 billion, Mr. Soros has been a permanent fixture on Forbes’ list of most wealthy individuals over the past decade. That said, Mr. Soros’s wealth is not the most fascinating thing about him – it is his giving. Over the years, he has made significant contributions to the lives of thousands through direct acts of philanthropy and indirectly through political engagements targeted at preserving democracy.Born less than two decades before the commencement of the Second World War to a Hungarian Jewish family, George Soros did not have the easiest of childhoods.
Unlike millions of other Jews in Hungary, he was able to make it through the war physically unscathed. He, however, could not avoid the emotional pain, which in many ways would influence the philanthropic and political contributions he would make decades later. Shortly after the war, he moved to London to further his education. He was consecutively awarded a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in science at the London School of Economics. A job at Friedlander, a bank based in London, followed soon after. He then made the journey to the United States to joined famed brokerage firm, F.M. Mayer. After a brief stint at the company, he then joined Wertheim and Co, another brokerage firm. The big guns thereafter came calling with Arnhold and S. Bleicheroeder offering him the Vice President position. He held the post for a decade before deciding to move on and form his own hedge fund.
Much of Mr. Soros’s philanthropic engagements thus far have been targeted ensuring the protection of individual’s civil rights and freedoms. This is not surprising given that he is heavily involved in political efforts to safeguard America’s democratic principles. In fact, it is estimated that his first philanthropic act of worth came in the 1970s when he assisted African students in apartheid South Africa to gain admission into the University of Cape Town. Over the course of his life, Mr. Soros is estimated to have donated close to half of his current net worth, $12 billion towards charitable causes.George Soros is an individual to be celebrated. For a man of his stature, he did not have to provide the philanthropic and political contributions he has made over the years. Nonetheless, despite being in a comfortable position, he chose to be directly involved in engagements that would arguably benefit others more than they would him. As such, we would be better placed if Mr. Soros continued with his current endeavors for many years to come.
SWball September 3, 2017