How did he make all that money?
First, he and his Jewish family had to survive the Nazis. As antiSemitism swept Hungary in the 1930s, his father changed the family name from Schwartz and dispersed family members—who pretended to be Christians—to sympathetic Hungarians. The teenaged Soros was sent to live with a Hungarian government official, and once accompanied the man in his duties to inventory confiscated Jewish property. Soros has freely discussed this in recent years, giving rise to the false smear that he had been a Nazi collaborator who sent his fellow Jews to the gas chambers. After surviving the war, he fled now-communist Hungary for the U.K., where he graduated from the London School of Economics and headed to Wall Street. There he raised $12 million from investors and discovered his genius for currency speculation through hedge funds. In 1992, his Quantum Fund made $1.5 billion in a single month by betting that the British pound would fall against the German mark. The pound plummeted and Soros cleaned up, earning the nickname “the man who broke the Bank of England.” Soros went on to make billions betting against currencies in Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan, among others.