George Soros hands $25bn empire control to son Alexander

Philanthropist and billionaire George Soros has decided to entrust his 37-year-old son, Alexander, with the control of his philanthropic and financial empire, worth US$25bn. A spokesperson for Soros, a significant supporter of liberal and democratic initiatives, confirmed the plan following its initial report by the Wall Street Journal.

Previously, Soros, who is now 92, did not want any of his five children to take over his Open Society Foundations (OSF). However, he has since changed his mind, stating, “He’s earned it.” OSF operates in over 120 countries, directing around US$1.5bn annually towards strengthening civil society, promoting human rights, and fighting corruption. The organisation supports groups such as Global Witness and the International Crisis Group.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Alexander described himself as “more political” than his father and expressed his intention to continue donating family funds to left-leaning political candidates in the United States. He also plans to expand the foundation’s priorities beyond his father’s “liberal aims” to encompass voting and abortion rights, as well as gender equity. “As much as I would love to get money out of politics, as long as the other side is doing it, we will have to do it too,” Alexander commented.

In December, the OSF board elected Alexander as its chairman, and he now oversees political activity as president of Soros’s political action committee in the US.

Born in Hungary in 1930, George Soros survived the Nazi occupation thanks to his family’s efforts to secure false identity papers and help other Jewish families do the same. He has referred to this experience as his most “formative.” Soros went on to have a successful career in finance and started his philanthropic work in 1979 by providing scholarships to Black South Africans living under apartheid. He later focused on freedom of thought and expression by funding academic visits to the West and supporting emerging independent cultural groups, initially in Hungary.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Soros established the Central European University in Budapest as a space to encourage critical thinking. Soros has long been a target of right-wing and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists in the United States, his native Hungary, and other countries. In 2018, OSF closed its Budapest office and relocated the Central European University to Vienna due to a “Stop Soros” campaign led by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party.

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With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

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