Soros donates $23 billion to his human rights fund
GEORGE Soros has given $23 billion to his human rights foundation, in one of the biggest transfers of wealth ever made by a private donor to a single institution.
The billionaire hedge fund manager is a leading Democratic donor who has donated the majority of his estimated $31billion fortune to the Open Society Foundations.
It makes the foundation the third largest in the world - just behind the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and the Wellcome Trust.
The organisation, which has branches in 37 countries, seeks to promote democracy across the world with the explicit aim of advancing justice, education, independent media and public health.
It has parted with nearly $18 billion since it was established in 1979 and has invested in programs that protect gays and lesbians and in programs that seek to tackle abuses by police.
Officials from the foundation said the philanthropist boosted the speed of donations from the earnings of his successful hedge fund.
Mr Soros - ranked 20th on Forbes magazine's list of the 400 wealthiest Americans - has brought his lifetime giving to $40.6billion with the donation.
The philanthropist, who was born in Hungary to a non-observant Jewish couple, survived Nazi- occupied Hungary and emigrated to England in 1947.
He studied at the London School of Economics while juggling jobs as a railway porter and waiting tables, but it was in the US where he made his fortune.
Mr Soros has been a long-time champion of groups promoting liberal, democratic and open-border values in Eastern Europe and is a long-standing critic of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's right-wing government.
The billionaire made substantial donations to Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful bid to be president.
Mr Soros rose to fame by betting against the pound in 1992 and used Quantum Fund to bet successfully that sterling was overvalued against the Deutsche mark forcing Prime Minister John Major to pull the pound out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. - INM