Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros left Budapest during World War II for England, then resettled once again in the United States in the 1950s. One of the wealthiest people in the world he is also a well-known supporter of American progressive and liberal political causes. He donated over $11 billion to a large variety of organizations between 1979 and 2011.
Although Jewish, Soros has not supported uniquely Jewish causes. He has funded several dissident movements behind the Iron Curtain in the Soviet Union, which often included Jews in leadership roles. Soros sent funds to help black students attend the University of Cape Town in South Africa, which practiced apartheid at the time.
Soros has been active, through his financial support, of the non-violent movement towards the democratization of the countries which were formed at the dissolution of the former Soviet Union.
He has also been active in reform in Hungary, playing a part in the peaceful transition from communism to democracy there from 1984 to 1989. He also gave a good deal of money to the Central European University in Budapest.
Soros’ son, Alexander, born in 1985, has also become known for his generosity. He also focuses his support on social and political causes, especially on “progressive causes that might not have widespread support.” Alexander Soros sits on the boards of Jewish Funds for Justice and Global Witness.