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“Soros” redirects here. For other uses, see Soros (disambiguation).
George Soros at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2010
Born August 12, 1930 (1930-08-12) (age 80)
Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary
Alma mater London School of Economics
Occupation Entrepreneur, currency trader, investor, philosopher, philanthropist, political activist
Net worth ▲ $14.2 billion (Forbes)
Religion None; Atheist
Spouse Twice divorced (Annaliese Witschak and Susan Weber Soros)
Children Robert, Andrea, Jonathan, Alexander, Gregory
George Soros (Hungarian: Soros György) (pronounced /ˈsɔroʊs/ or /ˈsɔrəs/,; HungarianIPA: [ˈʃoroʃ]; born August 12, 1930, as Schwartz György) is a Hungarian-American currency speculator, stock investor, businessman, philanthropist, and liberal political activist. He became known as “the Man Who Broke the Bank of England” after he made a reported $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crises.
Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Institute and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. He played a significant role in the peaceful transition from Communism to Capitalism in Hungary (1984–89), and provided Europe’s largest ever higher education endowment to Central European University in Budapest. Later, his funding and organization of Georgia’s Rose Revolution was considered by Russian and Western observers to have been crucial to its success. In the United States, he is known for donating large sums of money in an effort to defeat President George W. Bush’s bid for re-election in 2004. He helped found the Center for American Progress.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker wrote in 2003 in the foreword of Soros’ book The Alchemy of Finance:
George Soros has made his mark as an enormously successful speculator, wise enough to largely withdraw when still way ahead of the game. The bulk of his enormous winnings is now devoted to encouraging transitional and emerging nations to become ‘open societies,’ open not only in the sense of freedom of commerce but—more important—tolerant of new ideas and different modes of thinking and behavior.
Soros was born in Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary, the son of the Esperantist writer Tivadar Soros. Tivadar (also known as Teodoro) was a Hungarian Jew, who was a prisoner of war during and after World War I and eventually escaped from Russia to rejoin his family in Budapest.
The family changed its name in 1936 from Schwartz to Soros, in response to growing anti-semitism with the rise of Fascism. Tivadar liked the new name because it is a palindrome and because it has a meaning. Although the specific meaning is left unstated in Kaufmann’s biography, in Hungarian, soros means “next in line, or designated successor and in Esperanto, it means “will soar”. His son George was taught to speak Esperanto from birth and is a native Esperanto speaker. George Soros later said that he grew up in a Jewish home, and that his parents were cautious with their religious roots.
George Soros has been married and divorced twice, to Annaliese Witschak, and to Susan Weber Soros. He has five children: Robert, Andrea, Jonathan (with his first wife, Annaliese); Alexander, Gregory (with his second wife, Susan). His elder brother, Paul Soros, a private investor and philanthropist, is a retired engineer, who headed Soros Associates, an international engineering firm based in New York, and established the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for Young Americans. George Soros’ nephew Peter Soros, a son of Paul Soros, is married to the former Flora Fraser, a daughter of Lady Antonia Fraser and the late Sir Hugh Fraser, and a stepdaughter of the late 2005 Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter.