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Soros pledges $50 million to aid NYC's poor

Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009
Author: Svea Herbst-Bayliss, Reuters

Billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist George Soros has promised to donate $50 million to a foundation that helps poor New Yorkers.

But there is a catch.

Soros, who runs Soros Fund Management LLC and is one of the industry's most successful investors, said the Robin Hood Foundation must raise about $150 million in the next two years. He made the pledge at the foundation's annual gala in New York.

The foundation was created two decades ago by hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones to assist New York City's poor by sending money to groups that fight homelessness and aid education.

The foundation raised $72.7 million at the event, where Wall Street bankers mingled with Hollywood stars like Tom Hanks and Anne Hathaway and Oprah Winfrey. They were serenaded by Aretha Franklin.

Soros, who at 78 years old ranks as one of the hedge fund industry's elder statesmen, has spent more time in recent years giving away some of his personal fortune.