George Soros is not dead. A rumor appeared on Twitter on July 28 saying that the Hungarian born billionaire had died at the age of 89.
There is no mention of Soros’ passing on his website or social media nor is there any mention on the website or social media of his charity, Open Society Foundation. Heavy has reached out to the Open Society Foundation for comment on the death hoax.
Soros is a highly recognizable figure in business and politics and if he was dead, it would have been widely reported.
Conservative Commentator Bill Mitchell Is the Most Prominent Person to Tweet About the Soros’ Death Hoax
Conservative commentator Bill Mitchell was arguably the most high-profile person to tweet about the rumor. Mitchell wrote, “I heard a rumor George Soros has died. Let me be perfectly clear, this is just a rumor I heard from several unconnected sources. I am making no claims as to its accuracy. Has anyone heard anything about this?”
In 2016, a Facebook rumor regarding Soros’ death spread. The fake post read, “At about 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday (August 10, 2016), our beloved business man George Soros passed away. George Soros was born on August 12, 1930 in Budapest. He will be missed but not forgotten. Please show your sympathy and condolences by commenting on and liking this page.” In April 2013, Reuters accidentally published Soros’ obituary.
According to The Atlantic, the news agency’s message read, “George Soros, who died XXX at age XXX, was a predatory and hugely successful financier and investor, who argued paradoxically for years against the same sort of free-wheeling capitalism that made him billions.”
Soros Has Been a ‘Boogeyman’ for Conservatives for Years
Soros is a “boogeyman” for conservatives, reported the BBC in 2019. In June 2020, Reuters published a fact-checking article debunking conservative claims including that Soros was a member of the Nazi party, that he owns ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter and that he once “swore to destroy the USA.” The Associated Press reported that conspiracy theories regarding Soros had surged alongside Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd. Claims that were published about Soros by The Chicago Tribune’s John Kass led to an announcement that the newspaper would label opinion articles more explicitly.
Soros was last in the news in July 2020 when The New York Times reported that Soros’ foundation was investing $220 million “in efforts to achieve racial equality.”
According to Know Your Meme, the earliest social media death hoax involved actor Morgan Freeman. The website says that the hoax spread in December 2010. The fake posted credited CNN as the source. CNN quickly issued a statement saying that the rumor was fake and that, “CNN did not report Morgan Freeman death. Rumor is false. CNN will aggressively investigate this hoax.”