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George Soros Quotes on Philanthropy: 5 Memorable Statements by the Billionaire

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 11:57 AM

Since he retired from actively making money, financier George Soros, 85, has worked on giving it away. Forbes estimated the self-made billionaire has a net worth of $24.2 billion, and Soros has given away nearly half that amount since he began his philanthropic efforts in the 1970s.

Vote Now:Do You Think George Soros Is Good or Evil?

“George Soros is the only American who rivals the great philanthropists of the 1890s, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Julius Rosenwald,” said Nelson Aldrich Jr., editor of The American Benefactor, in a 1996 New York Times profile of Soros. Since then Soros has given away even more.

A big part of Soros' effort has been through his Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic network that now spans more than 50 countries. The charities, established by Soros in 1984, work toward promoting democratically elected governments and diverse, vigorous civil societies with respect for minorities and minority opinions, the rule of law, and market economies.

Soros has been outspoken about his philanthropic efforts, as these memorable comments show:

1. “When I had made more money than I needed for myself and my family, I set up a foundation to promote the values and principles of a free and open society. ”

—Quoted on George Soros' website.

2. “This is a tremendous opportunity to leverage federal and philanthropic dollars to benefit communities that have been shut out. We need to shake up the way we do business and invest in innovative programs that can show results at scale. ”

—On launching the Special Fund for Poverty Alleviation in 2010. The fund aims at strengthening the social safety net, creating jobs and increase educational opportunities for underserved communities throughout the United States.

3. “You trust people, you don't ask questions and send social workers to check them out.” —On how charitable distribution should work, quoted in Soros: The Life and Times of a Messianic Billionaire by Michael T. Kaufman (Knopf, 2002)

4. “I occupy an exceptional position. My success in the financial markets has given me a greater degree of independence than most other people. This obliges me to take stands on controversial issues when others cannot, and taking such positions has itself been a source of satisfaction. In short, my philanthropy has made me happy. What more could one ask for? I do not feel, however, that I have any business imposing my choices on others. ” My Philanthropy by George Soros, The New York Review of Books, June 22, 2011

5. “I'm not doing my philanthropic work, out of any kind of guilt, or any need to create good public relations. I'm doing it because I can afford to do it, and I believe in it. ” —David Brancaccio interviews George Soros on Now, aired on PBS, Sept. 12, 2003

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Since he retired from actively making money, financier George Soros, 85, has worked on giving it away.
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Thursday, 14 May 2015 11:57 AM
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