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George Soros, 92, Hands Control of $25 Billion Empire to His Third-Oldest Son: 'He's Earned It'

The liberal philanthropist said that he "didn't get on" with his 53-year-old son, Jonathan — who was once the heir apparent — as he named his younger son Alex, 37, successor



George Soros' $25 billion grant-making foundation will now be controlled by Alex Soros, the 92-year-old billionaire's third-oldest son, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Alex, 37, has spent two years as president of his father’s super PAC, which works to support Democratic politicians, according to the Washington Post. In his new role, he'll control Open Society Foundations, an organization founded by George with a network of more than 100 charities worldwide.

It was long thought that George's 53-year-old son, Jonathan Soros — a Harvard Law–educated businessman with a background in finance — was the heir apparent to Open Society Foundations. Now the billionaire has hinted that the two had a falling out, telling the Journal they "didn't get on" and that Jonathan recognized it, too.

Jonathan is the youngest of three children from George's first marriage, to Annaliese Witschak. Alex, the fourth Soros child overall, is the oldest that George shares with his second wife, Susan Weber.

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images George Soros
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images George Soros

In explaining how he came to a decision on his successor, George told the Journal that Alex had "earned" his trust, adding that he initially “didn’t want the foundation to be taken over by one of my children, as a matter of principle. I thought it should be managed by someone who is best suited."

Alex told the Journal that he intends to continue his father's legacy of supporting Democratic politicians and policies — and that he's even "more political" than his dad.

"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,” Alex said.

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Alex has been slightly more visible than his siblings in the public realm, with previous reports detailing his busy social life, which included lavish parties in the Hamptons.

He previously told The New York Times he felt he was becoming a "caricature," and in 2011, joined the Open Society board as a means of focusing more on philanthropy.

Ronald Zak/AP/Shutterstock George Soros
Ronald Zak/AP/Shutterstock George Soros

George, who was born in Hungary and survived the Holocaust before founding a hedge fund in the 1970s, is often a target of anti-semitic conspiracy theories due to his support of Democratic policies.

His philanthropic organization began in 1979 and today consists of a network of foundations, partners, and projects in more than 120 countries. George has given more than $32 billion of his own wealth to the foundations since 1984.

According to the Journal, Alex took over at Open Society earlier this year.

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