George Soros has recently transferred $18 billion from his personal wealth of $24.6 billion to the Open Society Foundations, an organization that promotes democracy around the world. This appears to be a major shift of wealth by the philanthropist and investor. In an email statement, a spokesman for the foundation said that this move is part of the process of transferring assets that has been going on for a number of years.
This massive transfer of Soros’ wealth to the Open Society Foundations practically made it one of the biggest charitable organizations in the world. It was the latest financial move of the 87-year old philanthropist who started charitable work in 1979. His first venture in philanthropy benefitted black South Africans who were provided with educational scholarships. A spokeswoman for the foundation, Laura Silber, confirmed that the money came from Soros’ personal wealth.
Soros is also the chairman of the Open Society Foundations. Under his tenure as chairman, the foundation has provided scholarships to thousands of indigent students who have no way of supporting themselves financially through school. Many of these students were also discriminated against because of their ethnicity. It has also financially supported organizations fighting for justice and equality, accountability in government and freedom of speech. The foundation’s website also claims that it has outposts in over 100 countries all over the globe. Among the groups that it has continuously supported are the minorities and the LGBT community.
According to Silber, since the 1980s, the foundation has already spent around $14 billion in support of these groups. Silber also claimed that the current value of the Open Society Foundation is about $18 billion. This amount practically makes it the second-largest charitable organization in the world. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, the first is the foundation headed by Bill Gates. The stats also suggest that the Open Society Foundations might be bigger than the Ford Foundation.
The 87-year old Soros, a Hungarian native, has lived through the Nazi occupation. He apparently detested the communist rule of his country and fled to the United States where he landed as an immigrant. Since then, he became a leading supporter of liberalism as well as liberal candidates, including the latest presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. It was in his Hungary that Soros formed his first foundation. In 1992, he organized the Open Society Foundations in the United States. Since then, he searched for and financed several charitable programs across the globe, including public health programs and relief work for refugees.
Soros’ charitable works are mostly for those who were suffering discrimination for merely being who and what they are. They included those who are marginalized by the mainstream society such as sex workers, drug users, the LGBT groups and the Roma people in Europe. His philanthropic works are apparently influenced by Karl Popper’s book “Open Society and Its Enemies.” He was first introduced to Popper’s works and thinking at the London School of Economics. Popper’s main concept is that no ideology or philosophy can be regarded as the final arbiter of truth. This concept is at the core of the charitable works of the Open Society Foundations.
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