George Soros (Hungarian: Soros György; pronounced /ˈsɔroʊs/ or /ˈsɔrəs/, Hungarian: ; born August 12, 1930, as Schwartz György) is a Hungarian-American financier, businessman and notable philanthropist focused on supporting liberal ideals and causes. He became known as "the Man Who Broke the Bank of England" after he made a reported $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crises. Soros correctly speculated that the British government would have to devalue the pound sterling.
Soros is Chairman of the Soros Fund Management. In July 2011, Soros announced that he was returning outside investment money (valued at $1 billion) and will only invest his own $24.5 billion family fortune because of new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure rules. Soros is also the chairman of the Open Society Institute and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. He played a significant role in the peaceful transition from communism to capitalism in Hungary (1984–89) and provided Europe's largest-ever higher education endowment to Central European University in Budapest. Later, the Open Society Institute's programs in Georgia were considered by Russian and Western observers to have been crucial in the success of the Rose Revolution. In the United States, he is known for donating large sums of money in an effort to defeat President George W. Bush's bid for re-election in 2004. In 2010, he donated $1 million in support of Proposition 19, which would have legalized marijuana in the state of California. He was an initial donor to the Center for American Progress, and he continues to support the organization through the Open Society Foundations. The Open Society Institute has active programs in more than 60 countries around the world with total expenditures currently averaging approximately $600 million a year.
In 2003, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker wrote in the foreword of Soros' book The Alchemy of Finance: