As a young man, George Soros fled his native country of Hungary to begin studies at The London School of Economics Political Science, where he studied philosophy. According to Forbes, after getting his start in finance by taking various jobs at merchant banks, Soros moved to New York to begin working on Wall Street. In 1969, while still in New York, Soros established his own hedge fund. This became known as the famous Quantum Fund. Soros rose to international prominence in 1992, when he made a profit of over $1 billion after a risky currency trade where he shorted the British pound.
Over the years, Soros has become known as not only one of the wealthiest men in the world, but also one of the world’s leading philanthropists and political spenders. Politico reports that Soros began to scale back his political spending after donating $27 million in a failed effort to prevent the election of President George W. Bush in 2004. Instead, he refocused his philanthropic attention on international foundations that seek to further such causes as democratic values, human rights, and access to healthcare and education. To date, Soros has spent over $13 billion to advance these causes, placing him among the most influential liberal philanthropists.
Breaking his trend in philanthropic giving to human rights foundations, Soros re-emerged into the political arena as a major donor for the Democratic Party during the 2016 election, despite his heavy criticism of the influence of wealthy donors in politics. Politico reports that Soros spent $25 million to support Hillary Clinton, along with other Democratic candidates and causes. Party insiders suggest Soros’s fondness for Clinton’s liberal agenda and his sharp warnings against leading GOP figures such as Donald Trump and Ted Cruz spurred him into action. George Soros is now seen as a leadership figure among liberal donors, participating in various efforts to effectively coordinate liberal philanthropic spending, such as the Democracy Alliance. Read more about George’s life story at biography.com.
It is unclear how the results of the 2016 election will influence Soros’s future spending. However, it seems likely that he will remain an inspirational figure for liberal donors, and that he will continue to pursue his vision of improving humanity through his philanthropic spending.
Follow George Soros on Twitter.