Category Archives: Philanthropist

George Soros: a lifetime of principled philanthropy

George Soros has devoted over half his life and billions of dollars to philanthropic causes that seek to promote social justice and defend political freedoms. This deep commitment stems from principles formed as a young man emerging from a dark chapter of modern history.

George Soros was born in 1930 in Budapest and grew up under the shadows of anti-Semitism, World War II, Nazi Germany’s occupation of Hungary, and Communist rule before emigrating to London in 1947. Soros graduated from the London School of Economics in 1952, working service jobs to put himself through university. He moved to New York City in 1956 to work on Wall Street and made his fortune in investment and hedge funds. His entrepreneurial bent led him to start his own firm in the early seventies, and the monetary fruits of his labors allowed him to begin philanthropic work on a large scale in 1979, granting scholarships for black South Africans in the age of Apartheid.

In the ensuing decades, Soros’ organization, Open Society Foundation, has given billions of dollars in grants to various charities worldwide. His efforts during the Cold War were intended to foster societal openness and encourage education in Eastern Europe, and during this time, he founded the Central European University. His philanthropy has embraced a wide swath of causes that seek to achieve social justice and fairness, from the rights of LGBTI people to disaster relief efforts to promoting the acceptance of medical marijuana. Visit Project Syndicate to learn more about George.

Now in his 80s, George Soros still holds true to the principles he absorbed at a young age: the defense of personal rights, democracy, and freedom of expression. To that end, he has spent a lifetime leveraging his resources and influence in order to encourage humanitarian efforts, promote social justice, and champion education. His legacy is an ongoing investment in the future through the institutions he has founded and supported over the years. Learn more on discoverthenetworks.org about George Soros.

How Betsy DeVos Has Been A Leader In The School Choice Movement

Betsy DeVos has been known as a reformer during her entire adult life. Even when she was attending Calvin College she was politically active in the campus community. She has been a leader in many causes ever since, including for political action committees, Republican campaigns, and the Republican party organization. One of the causes she is most involved in is school choice which allows parents to send their children to the school of their choice rather than the public school assigned to them.

One of the things that Betsy DeVos recognizes is that a child’s zip code is the biggest determination in the education they received. Those who grow up in poor communities receive a very sub-standard education while those in wealthy communities receive the best education in the United States. The school choice movement seeks to eliminate this gap by allowing students to attend private or charter schools through educations reforms such as tax credits, vouchers, and education savings accounts. Read her interview with Philantrophy Table.

Betsy DeVos’ involvement in the school choice movement includes serving on the board of two national charities, the American Education Reform Council and Children First America. Both of these organizations look to expand the school choice movement into more states across the United States. Betsy, along with her husband Dick, were instrumental in getting a charter-school bill passed in their home state of Michigan in 1993. In order to push for further reforms in the state such as tax-credit scholarships and vouchers, she founded the Great Lakes Education Project which was highly successful in the expansion of charter schools in Michigan.

One of the biggest successes she has had in the movement, according to BetsyDevos, is in the state of Florida. Her efforts led to a tax-credit scholarship program opening in the state and have led to more than 50,000 students attending a school that their family chose. The program has been met with strong approval by both the public and legislators in the state.

Due to her extensive experience in the field of education, Betsy DeVos was nominated by President Donald Trump to be the United States Secretary of Education. Her nomination was passed by the Senate and she started serving in her position in February 2017. She has pledged to support underserved students and provide them with access to a quality education. She is looking to expand school choice into the 25 states around the country that currently don’t have that as an option.

Before serving in her new role, Betsy DeVos was the Chairman of The Windquest Group, an investment company she co-founded with her husband. Through their Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, they have provided million in donations to different causes across the nation.

Read more: http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2017/01/dick_and_betsy_devos_lift_the.html

George Soros funded freedom in authoritarian regimes

Budapest is the birthplace of George Soros. Being a Jew in Hungary in the year 1944, Soros risked being apprehended and killed in Europe’s Holocaust, which was also experienced in Hungary under Adolf Eichmann in the summer of 1944. Eichmann was determined to wipe off the Jewish Community in Hungary at the time. Being a Jew at the time was a definite stigma, drawback and, thus, some Jews like Soros sought to escape it. Only the lucky ones survived this violent onslaught.

Based on his father’s advice, Soros, then a teenage boy, went to live with a non-Jewish family, posing as their godson in the summer of 1944. His father also changed their family name to Soros from Schwartz in 1936 to disguise their family’s Jewishness. All these were in attempts to escape from the Nazi crackdown. During his teenage years in Hungary, Soros witnessed first-hand the onset of Communist dictatorship.

Young Soros left Hungary in 1946, was able to bypass numerous Red Army road checkpoints, and went all the way to England. In England, he attended the London School of Economics on project-syndicate.org. In 1956, he immigrated to the US and worked as an analyst on Wall Street. His parents joined him in New York after they had become expatriates after the Soviet army nullified the Hungarian Revolution. In 1973, he founded a private investment firm that later developed into the Quantum Fund. He accrued wealth on Wall Street and he currently rank among the top 100 on Forbes index of the richest people in the globe. Currently, Mr. Soros chairs the Open Society Institute and Soros Fund Management.

Read more: Glenn Beck’s Ridiculous Misreading of George Soros Might Not Be As Inappropriate As Busting a 14-Year-Old’s Balls for How He Behaved During the Holocaust, But It Still Sets Back the Cause of Human Understanding

George Soros channels his billions to several notable causes. His early forays into philanthropy were traditional and commonplace: contributions to arts and education scholarships in Hungary. However, during the mid-1980s, due to the growth of his fortune, Mr. George Soros started to direct his philanthropic initiatives towards promoting openness in the Soviet Bloc which was governed by Communism.

Indeed, Soros played a central role in kicking out European Communism, the trepidation that replaced the Nazis. Soros’s donations were effective given that they assumed an uncontroversial orientation. His funds were channeled to a noble cause, encouraging broad alliances that worked quietly for revolutionary democratic transformation. In 1984, Soros opened the first Open Society Headquarter in Budapest. Soon after, Open Societies sprung up across Eastern Europe. Soros’s generosity helped unify social democrats, conservatives, liberals, and libertarians in several of the world’s most dictatorial regimes. He funded numerous civil-society groups in the Soviet empire. According to Lord Mark Malloch Brown, four people nudged communism in the dustbin. They include Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, George Soros and Pope John Paul II.

Mr. Soros still continues with his pro-democracy activities, with Burma the present focus area. However, he has recently incorporated a large domestic element, including backing for advocacy groups and liberal policy institutes. On the political front, he has spent millions of dollars in support of the Democratic Party agenda and most notably, Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign bid in 2008.

Stephen Murray, Former CCMP CEO, Passes Away

Stephen Murray was a successful business executive and investor, who died at the age of 52 on March 12, 2015. Murray reached high levels of success in his business career. Up until a month before his death, Murray served as the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of CCMP Capital, a private equity firm which he co-founded in 2006.

The company was a spin-off of JP Morgan Chase, and was created out of a need to avoid possible conflicts with clients of JP Morgan Chase bank. The company became very successful, raising $3.6 billion in 2014. The firm works primarily in the consumer, industrial, health care, and energy sectors, and typically invests $100 million to $500 million of equity per transaction. Read more: Stephen P. Murray, 52; Financial Executive; Stamford Resident; Vice Chair Boston College Board of Trustees

The firm’s specialty is in middle-market leveraged buyouts and growth-equity investments. Murray is cited as playing a major role in the success and growth of CCMP since its inception.

Stephen Murray had been with the predecessor firm to CCMP since 1989 as it went through various ownership changes. Eventually Stephen Murray became the CEO as it became its own stand-alone firm. Murray resigned as CEO of CCMP only a month before his death, due to unspecified health-related reasons.

In addition to his success in business and investment, Murray was an avid philanthropist. He was a supporter of many institutions, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York, the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, and the Stamford Museum. He also supported educational institutions including Boston College and the Columbia Business School.

Murray also served as a board member for various companies, including Aramark, The Vitamin Shoppe, AMC Entertainment, Crestcom International, Infogroup Inc., and others.

Murray was raised in Westchester, New York, a suburb of New York City. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from Boston College and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. Murray was married and was survived by his wife and four sons.

Stephen Murray Was a Philanthropist That Went The Extra Mile

Stephen Murray was the type of person that did a lot for CCMP Capital as president and chief executive officer. His mark on the company will forever remain as the company moves forward in the future. That is something that will never change any time soon and it will stay that way even though Stephen Murray is no longer around.

However, while his accomplishments at the the private equity firm deserve their praise and their acknowledgement, it is more important to remember his meaningful work as a philanthropist. That speaks to what kind of person he was and how he went above and beyond the call of duty to help people.

When you are as successful as Stephen Murray was, a lot of people tend to just focus on business and go about their way. They don’t often look at the big picture. However, Stephen Murray was always a big picture guy and someone that knew there were people out there that needed help and needed some guidance. While money is great and can help and make a big difference, there is also something extra in the fact that someone spends time with people in need, gets to know them, relate to them, and help them in other ways.

For example, he helped with the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. These are people that are starving and every meal matters to them and is so important. He would spend time with them, feed them, and try to be there for them. He believed that no one should go hungry and no one should have to suffer from starvation. Hunger is a big problem in the world we live in and Stephen sought to do something about it. He didn’t believe in standing on the sidelines and letting these people go hungry.

Stephen Murray also gave back to his college, Boston College, where he graduated in 1984. If he could talk to a student, help them with their education, or offer any advice, he was more than willing to give his time.

Again, money is great and can make a big difference, but there is no substitute for time and giving your time to people that really truly need it and get something out of it. Stephen’s loss has left a hole at CCMP Capital but it also left a void in the world of philanthropy. Hopefully, someone picks up the slack in his place.

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CCMP’s Murray dead at 52