Political financier and philanthropist George Soros described himself as a "financial, philanthropic and philosophical speculator" after receiving an honorary degree from Oxford University.
Soros' personal fortune has been estimated at between $13 billion and upwards of some $20 billion, stemming from his successful investment enterprises under the Soros Fund Management, which contains billions of dollars in investments.
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Here are seven of his philanthropic passions over the years:
Following extraordinary success as an investment adviser and manager, Soros began his philanthropic activities in 1979. His financial contributions have included aiding regions struck by natural disasters, combating diseases in Europe, donating to after-school programs, funding the arts in New York, and financial assistance to universities in Russia, according to Biography.com.
In 1984, Soros established the Open Society Foundations, which have been used to fund public health, media, education, business development and justice issues throughout the world.
First established in his Hungarian birthplace, the Open Society Foundations later opened in offices globally. In 1987, Soros began concentrating on giving money to organizations for political and social issues after setting up an office in Moscow. His philanthropic enterprises increased from $3 million in donations in 1987 to $300 million by 1992, according to Discover the Networks.
Soros later stretched operations of the philanthropic Open Society to Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which lead to activities in more than 70 countries.
Soros set up the Open Society Institute in New York in 1993 to provide capital to countries around the world, advancing the causes of freedom, democracy, human rights and social responsibility.
The OSI gave more than $8 million in grants to the ACLU Foundation between 1999 and 2008, Discover the Networks reported.
Along with the ACLU, Soros has spent millions of dollars funding such organizations as the Center for American Progress and Media Matters, according to The Washington Examiner.
Soros' work with political and social programs has led him to call himself "some kind of god" in an interview with The Independent in 1993 with a desire "to become the conscience of the world," reported Discover the Networks, which claimed Soros uses his philanthropic operations to change the world into his own view of social justice.
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