Soros said to pass reins of progressive philanthropy empire to ‘more political’ son

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SAN FRANCISCO, California — American investor George Soros is passing control of his multi-billion dollar foundation to his 37-year-old son Alexander, the duo said in an interview published Sunday.

The Hungarian-born father, 92, told the Wall Street Journal that his son, the second youngest of five children, had “earned it.”

Reviled by conservatives, and often the target of antisemitic conspiracies, George Soros used his wealth amassed as a financier in the 1970s and 80s to create the Open Society Foundations, which support a broad arrange of causes and NGOs worldwide, ranging from good-governance and democracy-building programs to liberal public policy initiatives.

He has also been one of the biggest Democratic Party donors in the United States.

Alexander, who goes by Alex, told the Wall Street Journal he is “more political” than his father, and that one of his top aims would be to push back against a possible second term by former president Donald Trump.

“As much as I would love to get money out of politics, as long as the other side is doing it, we will have to do it, too,” he said.

Under his direction, the younger Soros said the Open Society Foundations will continue down a similar path his father charted, pushing free speech, criminal justice reform, minority and refugee rights and backing liberal politicians.

George Soros at the Joseph A. Schumpeter award ceremony in Vienna, Austria, June 21, 2019. (AP Photo/ Ronald Zak)

But he also wants to embrace voting rights, abortion and gender equity initiatives.

The Open Society Foundations board had quietly elected Alex Soros as its chairman in December, the Wall Street Journal reported, adding that he is also the president of his father’s “super PAC” — a type of organization in the United States that can spend unlimited amounts of money on politics.

An Open Society Foundations spokesperson confirmed to AFP on Sunday that “Alex is Chair of the Open Society Foundations,” without any further details on the timing of the change.

The Journal also said he is the sole family member on the investment committee for Soros Fund Management, the firm that oversees family and foundation money.

Some $125 million has been set aside for the super PAC over the coming years, while most of the $25 billion in the Soros Management Fund will be directed toward the Open Society Foundations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

More focused on domestic politics than the elder Soros, Alex is already focused on helping Democrats increase their appeal with Latino voters and improve Black voter turnout.

“Our side has to be better about being more patriotic and inclusive,” the 37-year-old said. “Just because someone votes Trump doesn’t mean they’re lost or racist.”

Alex is the oldest of two sons from George Soros’ marriage with his second wife, Susan Weber, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The appointment passes over George Soros’ elder son Jonathan Soros, 52, a lawyer with a background in finance. He had been believed to be the clear successor until “a falling out and a change of heart,” according to the paper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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