Billionaire George Soros to the Empire State: Don’t Thank Me, Thank the Quakers

George Soros may be the 29th richest person on the planet – with an estimated worth of $11 billion – but things weren’t always so rosy for the illustrious investor.

Interviewed on Harlem Talk Radio, the Hungarian native, whose family was forced underground to evade the Nazis during World War II – and who later worked as a railway porter – recounts what prompted his most recent act of munificence.

CAPTION: "I hope that some of the kids who got the money will prosper," George (above) tells us. "When they grow up, maybe they can do the same thing.

"I hope that some of the kids who got the money will prosper," George (above) tells us. "When they grow up, maybe they can do the same thing.

This week, George announced that his Open Society Institute made a $35 million donation to Back To School New York, a joint effort with the State of New York and U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services that provides grants of $200 per child to more than 850,000 families receiving public assistance or food stamps. The money is to be used to buy clothes and supplies for the new academic year.

“Once, I was also a recipient of support, when I was a student. I was studying at the London School of Economics, and working as a waiter at night,” George, who turned 80 this week, tells host Simone Perry.

“Then my tutor discovered I was doing that – and that I had to do that – so she submitted my name to the Quakers.

“They sent me a check like this, without any questions asked. I didn’t have to apply,” he adds.

“And I thought, That’s the way to do it. So it gives me a real pleasure to do it for other people now. In a way, it paid off for the Quakers to send me 40 pounds.”

Governor Paterson: Supporting George's gift.

Governor Paterson: Supporting George's gift.

Also on the show is N.Y. Governor David Paterson, who worked with George to add another $135 million in federal stimulus funds to Back To School New York.

“I’m just trying to help a situation that these people don’t understand,” says the governor in response to critics who bashed the program, which – unlike food stamps – allows the grants to be redeemed for cash, and thus prone to fraud and abuse.

“Either they don’t understand, or they deliberately criticize it because there’s a stigma about people who are on any kind of assistance – that they’re all welfare cheats, that they take their checks right to the liquor store, and all kinds of stereotypes.”

To hear Harlem Talk Radio‘s full interview with George and the governor, click here.

To read more about George’s philanthropic efforts, click here.

To check out the Harlem Talk Radio website, click here.

5 thoughts on “Billionaire George Soros to the Empire State: Don’t Thank Me, Thank the Quakers

  1. Sweet Dee Love

    Big upp to ya George!!!! Thank yu for having the heart and the confidence in the future!!! Gov. Patterson there is a heart in you after all. No offense. You just redeemed yourself in my book!!! Big upppp!!!!!!!! Ciao

    Reply
  2. Alice Paul

    There is a reason The Chinese call George Soros “The Crocodile” This man goes in to countries under the guise of a philanthropist, gets the country dependent on him financially and educationally ..many other ways and then manipulates the markets to his favor while the poor lose their jobs and die. He is despised in countries around the world. Don’t take the carrot. This man is no real “do gooder” and he doesn’t give a damn about you at all. George Soros, “The Crocodile” indeed.

    Reply
  3. John Danenbarger

    I thought, as soon as I saw the comments below this broadcast, the comments would be from right-wing dummies. Soros is probably one of the most thoughtful, giving persons on earth at the moment. But people without intelligence cannot wrap their minds around this guy. Personally, I have always wanted to meet and thank the man for his wisdom.

    Reply

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