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Scion of an entrepreneurial family, Paul Soros, dies

Paul Soros, the engineer, shipping magnate, philanthropist and elder brother of billionaire George Soros, died on 15 June, aged 87.
Paul Soros, an entrepreneur, engineer and philanthropist

Paul Soros, the engineer, shipping magnate, philanthropist and elder brother of billionaire George Soros, died on 15 June, aged 87.

Born Paul Schwartz to a wealthy Jewish family in Hungary, Soros survived the Second World War and life in the communist Eastern Bloc before leaving Europe to settle in the US. In the lead up to the war his father changed the family name to Soros to avoid Nazi persecution.

Despite the upheavals in Europe in his youth, Soros studied engineering in Budapest and was a keen tennis player and skier, even representing the Hungarian national team.

He defected from communist Hungary in 1948 and arrived in New York with almost nothing. He managed to support himself at first by coaching tennis, before winning a scholarship to St Lawrence University in northern New York State.

Soros made his fortune through designing loading systems for ships transporting raw materials such as iron ore, coal and aluminium. His systems saved time and money by allowing ships to be loaded while moored on buoys rather than having to bring them into port.

He founded his own company Soros Associates in 1956, which designed and built ports and offshore terminals for the handling of bunk materials and had operations in more than 90 countries.

The company was eventually sold in 1989. In 1997 Soros and his wife Daisy set up their philanthropic foundation funding the education of "new Americans" – providing scholarships for first-generation immigrants.

He also set up his own investment company and sat on the board of his brother's company Quantum Industrial Holdings.

Soros is quoted as once saying, "My story is riches to rags to riches again, I was lucky to survive. The rest was relatively easy."

Soros is survived by his wife – also Hungarian born – who he met at university in New York, and their two sons Peter and Jeffrey.

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