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Soros, George(sôr`ōs), 1930–, American stock trader and philanthropist, b. Budapest, Hungary, as George Schwartz. He studied under Sir Karl PopperPopper, Sir Karl Raimund,
1902–94, Anglo-Austrian philosopher, b. Vienna. He became familiar with the Vienna circle of logical positivists (see logical positivism) while a student at the Univ. of Vienna (Ph.D., 1928). He taught at Canterbury Univ.
..... Click the link for more information. at the London School of Economics (grad. 1952). He emigrated from Hungary to Great Britain (1947) and then to the United States (1956). Soros mostly worked as a financial analyst, and in 1969 he founded the first of his offshore hedge fundshedge fund,
in finance, a largely unregulated investment device with a relatively small number of investors that aims to outperform the markets. Originating in the 1950s, the funds "hedge" by offsetting "short" positions (borrowing a security and then selling it at a higher
..... Click the link for more information. . His Quantum funds grew in value tremendously, partly through speculationspeculation,
practice of engaging in business in order to make quick profits from fluctuations in prices, as opposed to the practice of investing in a productive enterprise in order to share in its earnings.
..... Click the link for more information. in foreign currency. He earned (1992) $1 billion on the fall of the British pound and notoriety as "the man who broke the Bank of England." In the late 1990s, financial analysts and government officials charged that this speculation had helped destabilize Asian and Latin American national economies. His reputation for financial acumen was tarnished somewhat, however, when the value of the funds fell 20% in early 2000.
As president of the Soros Management Fund, he has used his wealth to create a network of wealthy foundations, many of which were founded to aid former Communist countries in creating the kind of anti-Marxist "open society" advocated by Popper. By the 2010s, however, nationalist governments in power in Russia, Hungary and other Eastern European nations, and Turkey increasingly denounced Soros's prodemocracy and human-rights efforts as subversive. Other Soros foundations fund health initiatives and aid immigrants in the United States. He also established (1991) the Central European Univ., based in Budapest. In the United States, he has funded political campaigns, most notably by organizations opposed to President George W. BushBush, George Walker,
1946–, 43d President of the United States (2001–9), b. New Haven, Conn. The eldest son of President George H. W. Bush, he was was raised in Texas and, like his father, attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and Yale, graduating in 1968.
..... Click the link for more information. , and he continues to fund Democratic candidates and progressive groups. Soros has written several books, including Opening the Soviet System (1990; rev. ed. 1991), The Alchemy of Finance (1994), The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998), Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism (2000), and The Bubble of American Supremacy (2003).
See his autobiography Soros on Soros (with B. Wien and K. Koenen, 1995); biographies by R. Slater (1995) and M. T. Kaufman (2002).