George Soros, the billionaire hedge-fund manager who is a major contributor to liberal and Democratic causes, turned over nearly $18 billion to the non-profit group he started, the Open Society Foundations.
With the bulk of Soros’s fortune, Open Society has vaulted to the top ranks of philanthropic organizations – perhaps the second biggest in the U.S. by assets after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Soros Fund Management’s 87-year-old founder now shares influence over his hedge fund's strategy with an investment committee from Open Society. He is chairman of the committee that is meant to survive him, people familiar with the setup told the newspaper.
Soros doesn’t plan to trade the billions that now belong to Open Society. He had been trading his own money, held separately within the Soros firm, as recently as last year, when he bet—wrongly, it turned out—that stocks would slump after Donald Trump was elected president.
Soros began his charitable giving in 1979 and increased it to fight communism across Eastern Europe. In the U.S., the group has supported left-leaning causess, including activists associated with Black Lives Matter, which protests alleged police brutality.
Conservative pundits have blamed Soros for funding leftist causes such as more open U.S. borders to allow a freer flow of immigrants and refugees.
Rush Limbaugh in a speech pointed to Soros and other "international financiers" whose aim he maintained was to take the U.S. "out and down as a superpower — to literally erase the United States as a powerful or super powerful nation."
The Nation's Eric Alterman last month said an old right-wing "slander" of liberal financier and philanthropist George Soros was being driven by Dinesh D’Souza hawking his most recent book. Alterman said D’Souza was tweeting countless versions of a "big lie" by referring to Soros as “Hitler’s collection boy” and claiming that Soros “literally worked for Hitler.”
Actually, Alterman said, Soros was just a 14-year-old boy in Budapest who survived the Holocaust because he was hidden by a government official who had a Jewish wife. Soros’s father helped protect the Jewish woman, and in return the official agreed to let Soros pretend to be his Christian godson.
Once, when the official was sent to inventory the estate of a Jewish family, the boy accompanied him rather than be left alone in Budapest for three days.
That innocent episode alone, which was detailed in Michael Kaufman’s 2002 book "Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire," has been the basis of the hyperbolic right-wing attacks on Soros, Alterman said.
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