George Soros, the billionaire Democratic donor who has become a lightning rod for criticism from conservatives, including President Trump, was named “Person of the Year” by the Financial Times on Wednesday.
“The Financial Times’s choice of Person of the Year is usually a reflection of their achievements,” the paper’s editorial board wrote. “In the case of Mr. Soros this year, his selection is also about the values he represents.”
Born in Budapest, Hungary, to Jewish parents, Soros survived the Nazi occupation of his homeland before emigrating to England in 1947. After attending the London School of Economics, he came to the United States and became a successful investor, channeling his fortune to support a variety of progressive groups and politicians.
“For more than three decades, Mr. Soros has used philanthropy to battle against authoritarians, racism and intolerance. Through his long commitment to openness, media freedom and human rights, he has attracted the wrath of authoritarian regimes and, increasingly, the national populists who continue to gain ground, particularly in Europe.”
An international daily newspaper that covers the global economy, Financial Times was founded in 1888 and is considered one of the most influential financial publications.
Among many conservatives, Soros has become akin to a bogeyman. During Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings in October, Trump accused him of funding demonstrations against the judge.
The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love! #Troublemakers
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2018
Days later, federal authorities announced that a pipe bomb had been sent to Soros’s home in a suburb of New York, along with the homes or offices of other prominent Democrats. A Trump supporter named Cesar Sayoc was charged in the attempted bombings, which did not result in any injuries.
Asked later that same month whether he subscribed to the belief pushed by right-wing conspiracy theorists that Soros was funding the migrant caravan of Central American asylum seekers, Trump replied, “I wouldn’t be surprised.”
After decades of attacks over his support for liberal ideals, Soros has become used to the negative attention.
“I’m blamed for everything, including being the anti-Christ,” Soros told the Financial Times. “I wish I didn’t have so many enemies, but I take it as an indication that I must be doing something right.”
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