International philantropist George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1930. He emigrated to England in 1947 and graduated from the London School of Economics in 1952. In 1956, he moved to the United States.
Mr. Soros founded the Open Society Fund in 1979, the Soros Foundation -- Hungary in 1984, and the Soros Foundation -- Soviet Union in 1987. He now has a network of foundations operating in 24 countries throughout Central and Eastern Europe, as well as South Africa and the United States. These foundations are helping to build the infrastructure and institutions of an open society through the support of a variety of educational, cultural, and economic restructuring activities. The kind of open society that could lead to the Utopia of a really Global Earth, with reduced large-scale conflict and improved communication. The OSF support of the Internet (connection funds for universities, libraries, even individuals), with its potential of creating a Global Village is a definite highlight of that effort.
Mr. Soros is also founder of The Central European University in Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw. Established in 1990, the University offers postgraduate programs in history, economics, political science, art history, and the social sciences, and serves as the centerpiece of Mr. Soros' educational initiatives in Eastern Europe.
Out of these initiatives, two have literally shaped my life:
Mr. Soros is President of Soros Fund Management and Chief Investment Advisor to Quantum Fund N.V., a $12 billion international investment fund which is generally recognized as having had the best performance record in the world during its 25-year history.
In addition to many articles on the political and economic changes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Mr. Soros is the author of the The Alchemy of Finance, published by Simon & Schuster in 1987 and republished be Weidenfeld & Nicholson in July 1990, and Underwriting Democracy, published by The Free Press in September 1991. Mr. Soros' last book (that I know of), Ideas and Actions, was published by Wiley and Sons in July, 1995.
Mr. Soros received honorary doctoral degrees from the New School for Social Research (New York) and the University of Oxford in 1980, as well as from the Budapest University of Economics and Yale University in 1991.
But none of that compares with the dedication to progress he has shown throughout his "funding career". For the period the Open Society Foundation operated, he has directly or indirectly helped more struggling scientists and funded more students than any government in Eastern Europe.
For myself, all it boils down to is a hearty: