George Soros is no stranger to the multiple stigmas of otherness. He fights for the rights of those suffering discrimination due to their sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status, etc. overcome the various challenges that threaten to limit their ability to thrive in the societies in which they live. As the Founder of the Open Society Foundation he has spent decades fighting for the truth that resonates within him,”That no philosophy or ideology is the final arbiter of truth. Societies flourish when there exists true democratic governance, citizens have the freedom of expression in all of its forms, and respect for individual rights are maintained. Soros strives to achieve that truth through the myriad of organizations and individuals receiving support through the Open Society Foundation. Read more about George at The New York Times.
George Soros, The Man
George Soros (Originally named Gyorgy Schwartz) was born at a time in Hungary when Jews or those of Jewish origin were held largely responsible for its post-WWI state of affairs. A series of anti-semitic laws, policies, and right-wing racial propaganda continued to increasingly exclude, isolate, and marginalize Hungarians of Jewish descent economically and socially. The escalating levels of persecution of the Jewish people prompted his father Tividar Schwartz to change the family surname to Soros in 1936 as a means of survival. Disassociating from their true origins in such an increasingly racialized anti-semitic atmosphere made it possible for the Soros family to survive the Nazi invasion and occupation of Hungary in 1944.
In 1947 George Soros emigrated to England where he engaged in educational pursuits at the London School of Economics and Political Science. During his time there he studied the writings of Sir Karl Raimund Popper an Austrian-British philosopher of science and professor. Karl Popper’s “The Open Society and its Enemies”, the content of which served as his critique of totalitarianism, profoundly influenced the mindset of Soros. George Soros determined that “no ideology owns the truth, and that societies can flourish only when they operate freely and openly and maintain respect for individual rights.” It was a realization that would dwell in his psyche long after graduating from London School of Economics and Political Science in 1952. Read this story at Politico.com about George Soros.
In 1956, George Soros began an increasingly successful career as a Wall Street financial professional. In 1973 he established the Soros Fund (currently named the Quantum Fund endowment) which led to his eventual multi-billionaire status. The vast wealth amassed by George Soros became the means to fulfill a purpose greater than himself. In 1979 he began to pursue philanthropic endeavors which led to the establishment of the Open Society Foundations in 1984.