Are there many advantages to being born the son or daughter of a billionaire many times over? Sure. Financial security. Unparalleled opportunities. World is your oyster type stuff. But there’s also a dark side that few people ever see or talk about, which can make being astonishingly wealthy by virtue of birth all the more isolating and hard. And it probably seems like no one cares about your or your plight or the anguish that comes with being able to exclusively pursue your passions instead of working because your net worth is at a level that there is “no point in going out to make more money.” Except for one: the New York Times. Today, in an effort to show kids born into immense privilege that YOU ARE NOT ALONE, the Gray Lady has run a profile of Alexander Soros, son of George, which examines the struggles he faced in coming to terms with being rich. They included:

Never getting to live in a McMansion.

Alex Soros spent his youth padding around a Charles A. Platt-designed 14-room house on a sprawling country estate in Katonah, N.Y. His mother, Susan Weber Soros, now divorced from his father, founded the Bard Graduate Center for the decorative arts and adorned the house with Sargents and Cassatts. Their place in the city was a duplex at 1060 Fifth Avenue. While his parents worked, he spent much of his time with his younger brother, Gregory, now 23 and pursuing a career as an artist; his nanny, Ping, from China; and the staff…Mr. Soros was acutely aware that he lived in a privileged bubble, and sometimes dreamed of living in a subdivision, where he could play football in the street with other boys. “As a kid, all you want to be is normal,” he said. “When all you’re being fed is vichyssoise, you want to eat Big Macs like everyone else.”

Not being seen as an intellectual.

After King Low Heywood Thomas, a prep school in Stamford, Conn., he attended New York University, where he tried to come to grips with expectations that came with his last name. For a period, he brooded, and gained weight. “Alex sought anonymity,” said Adam Braun, a former roommate. “He wanted to be known as the intellectual, not the son of the financier.” Alex hated small talk, Mr. Braun added, and he would ditch parties early to go home and curl up with his Baudrillard.

Being seen as a “party-boy” who posted pictures on Facebook with captions like “chilling at dad’s house in Southampton, drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat, and making out with the babes,” after posting pictures on Facebook with captions like “chilling at dad’s house in Southampton, drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat, and making out with the babes.”

…after graduation, he came out of his shell and started to socialize. He made new friends, some of whom were nightclub habitués looking to trade on his name, he said. It was around that time that Facebook pictures [“chilling at dad’s house in Southampton, drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat, and making out with the babes”] of him popped up. He was shocked to be portrayed as another helium-weight Hamptons party boy swilling away his trust fund. “I became this caricature,” he said.

Despite all the obstacles, though, this story has a happy ending. After “wrestling with his moneyed upbringing,” Soros came to grips with who he is and what he’s worth, monetarily-speaking. He was born rich and he’s OK with that.

Mr. Soros, now 26, is taking the stage on his own terms, though in a direction his father clearly approves: philanthropy. Last fall, while pursing his Ph.D. in history at Berkeley, the younger Mr. Soros started the Alexander Soros Foundation. Its stated mission is to promote social justice and human rights…These days, he divides the bulk of his time between Berkeley and New York. Alex admits that his lifestyle is wildly at odds with that of most graduate students. He has a house in North Berkeley, a two-bedroom apartment near Astor Place in Manhattan and a place in South Kensington, London. He collects art by Otto Dix and George Grosz, and has “a couple of Magrittes,” he said.

He has also given up on the idea that he can escape public scrutiny. His trip to Florianópolis, a Brazilian island getaway, with buddies a couple of years ago somehow landed on Page Six, which had him partying alongside the actor Stephen Dorff (“I’ve never even met Stephen Dorff,” he said).

“I live well,” he told the Times for its investigative report, which includes a series of It Gets Better videos. “I try to stay reasonable, but it’s very hard to say what is reasonable. There’s not a how-to book. In a way, if you try to live quote-unquote normal, you’re being disingenuous.”

Making Good On The Family Name [NYT]

68 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
Show all comments ↓

Comments (68)

  1. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Heh, heh. Sissychoice.

  2. Posted by VonSloneker | July 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Hiring the New Kids On The Block as your style consultants is the NKI.

    – Lawsuit back on, Ping

  3. Posted by Tag analyst | July 19, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    My father would womanize; he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy., [although admittedly he never leveled those types of accusations at the lamps]. Other than that, no concerns.

  4. Posted by guessed | July 19, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    nothing says old money like a goatee…

  5. Posted by MHA | July 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    the younger Mr. Soros started the Alexander Soros Foundation. Its stated mission is to promote social justice and human rights.

    Is he underwriting OWS? Daddy will not be pleased.

  6. Posted by A. Shiff | July 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Need any help with marketing that foundation my man?

    -Envious in Brooklyn

  7. Posted by PermaGuestII | July 19, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    For the son of a billionaire, he looks an awful lot like someone who's going to bolt out of the office at 4:01:30 on Friday to catch the 4:33 to Belmar.

  8. Posted by PermaGuestII | July 19, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Ummm…. you realize Daddy funded MoveOn.org, right?

  9. Posted by Winston Churchill | July 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    So he's got the TJ Marlin looks, but unfortunately not the work ethic.

    Also, thoughts: http://www.reutersmagazine.com/churchill/

  10. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    I'm having a hard time putting my finger on exactly which Backstreet Boy Bess decided to put as the headline picture

  11. Posted by Guy with A.D.D. | July 19, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    The name says big money
    The Jos A. Bank says otherwise

  12. Posted by Anon Fed Guest | July 19, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Asshole.

  13. Posted by ih8edjfkjr | July 19, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    "Since there was no point in going out to make more money…"

    ..and, incidentally, since it's sort of, like, easy to fail at…

  14. Posted by db7 | July 19, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    He has that "Son of a divorced billionaire spawn that nailed Ping in the gameroom introvert that will be taken advantage of by a very savvy yet sophisticated slut whore money grubber" look

  15. Posted by Pulp | July 19, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Rent a flat above a shop,
    cut your hair and get a job.
    Smoke some fags and play some pool,
    pretend you never went to school.
    But still you'll never get it right,
    cos when you're laid in bed at night,
    watching roaches climb the wall,
    if you call your Dad he could stop it all.

  16. Posted by VonSloneker | July 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    That or coke head rent boy…

  17. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    It's been a good run, from the Rockefellers to the Gates, but philanthropy has officially jumped the shark.

  18. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Buy 1 sock get 11 pairs of slacks and 16 belts free?

  19. Posted by Closet Bitch | July 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    These were my thoughts exactly.

    -Rollin deep in an Acura MDX

  20. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    "I try to stay reasonable, but it’s very hard to say what is reasonable. There’s not a how-to book."

    I blame the UHNW marketers for this type of nonsense. Kissing rich people's asses for years, telling them you have more problems when you have money then when you don't.

  21. Posted by Im_a_Dude | July 19, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    i think i just got jock itch all of the sudden

  22. Posted by Herb Schmertz | July 19, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    I mean, he's not THAT privileged. He never even met Stephen Dorff!

  23. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    This picture was ripped from the Gryphon Financial marketing pamphlet, right?

  24. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Bonobos, is that you?

  25. Posted by lamps | July 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    I will gladly trade places.

    – guy working full time and attending business school at night in the hopes that one day he is wealthy enough to have to option to spawn shit heads like Alex Soros

  26. Posted by KPMG & Blade | July 19, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    An opportunity that could've led to some useful tax advice from Wesley Snipes.

  27. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    If have to goggle a food and have trouble pronouncing it, i don't think it would be wise to eat it.

    Side note – fuck the big mac, double quarter-pounder, only cheese and mac sauce. a true fat kids delight!

    – Former Fat Kid

  28. Posted by Brick Tamland | July 19, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Where'd you get your clothes… from the… toilet store?

  29. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Having a billionaire Dad yet still not knowing how to tie a tie is the NKI.

  30. Posted by ZZZZBest | July 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Goggle a food huh… sounds dangerous

  31. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Its unstated and more important mission: to help Alexander Soros get into the pants of hot women who care about social justice and human rights

  32. Posted by JohnnyCanes | July 19, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    It's just potato and leek soup. Much cheaper than a double quarter-pounder, really. Especially if you have an illegal Chinese to cook it for you.

  33. Posted by Zero Hedge | July 19, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    D'Jais is a normal life…

  34. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    It's french for potato leek soup…perfectly safe. Get out in the world once in a while.

  35. Posted by FKApmco | July 19, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    You rang?

  36. Posted by Strauss Kahn's Diary | July 19, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Bill Ackman can make match #5 & set you up with Paris Hilton – you guys have a lot in common. (Famous last name, looking to waste your life).

  37. Posted by Quota Quant | July 19, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    So does Cradle Robbers LLC qualify as a Minority or Woman owned business for new york municipal purposes?

  38. Posted by Laxbro | July 19, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Drinking 40s while cruising on the family boat and making out with the babes. TFM.

  39. Posted by FKApmco | July 19, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Woman owned but I'll probably use BOHICA LLC.

  40. Posted by Castor | July 19, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    It's spelled BORICUA

    (examines motives… all good)

  41. Posted by 15 inch condom | July 19, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    You sir have a future in affordable menswear

    ~Jose Bank

  42. Posted by Jean-Paul Sartre | July 19, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    "…he would ditch parties early to go home and curl up with his Baudrillard."

    Lol, what a queer.

  43. Posted by Hah | July 19, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    I went to the Millbrook School in upstate NY. Alex Soros was a student there for roughly three months and left because our dorm parent walked in on him "having a little quality alone time". He was the laughing stock of the school before and after the incident. This is a true story.

  44. Posted by guest | July 19, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    You on the other hand, sound SO COOL.

  45. Posted by SadBro | July 19, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    TFM indeed.

  46. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    L'enfer, c'est chilling at dad's house in Southampton.

  47. Posted by Jello Biafra | July 19, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    So you been to school for a year or two
    And you know you've seen it all
    In daddy's car thinkin' you'll go far
    Back east your type don't crawl
    Play ethnicky jazz to parade your snazz
    On your five grand stereo
    Braggin that you know how the ******* feel cold
    And the slums got so much soul

  48. Posted by Cranbrook | July 19, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Guys in my prep school used to get caught choking the chicken all the time, it was no big deal.

  49. Posted by Danker_Banker | July 19, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    I always felt sorry for the guys who got caught (and made fun of) in HS for punching the clown. Jesus, I had gym socks you could pry open a paint can with.

  50. Posted by VonSloneker | July 19, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Obtuse reference uber alles.*

    – VP, Cambodian Holiday Tours, LLC

    * Still +1 for reference

  51. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    Don't knock Belmar. And I'm usually out at 4:00:30.

  52. Posted by Longnwrong | July 19, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    still got 'em?

    Lynn

  53. Posted by DingALing | July 19, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Couple things here:

    First, they could have left out the "he's come to terms with being a rich kid. He's OK with that" when you tell us in the following sentence that he has three properties including manhattan and london.

    Second, am I the only one that had to look up vichyssoise and baudrillard on dictionary.com? I tried using context clues and thought baudrillard was a fancy name for cheap whore (use it it the sentence and tell me it doesn't work)

  54. Posted by Cranbrook | July 19, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    We're glad you've come to terms with being a middle class public school attending kid.

  55. Posted by Jello Biafra | July 19, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Thanks. Sucks getting old.

  56. Posted by hooters | July 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Can't make out with babes there, so yes, yes it is.

  57. Posted by Guest | July 19, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    I swear that's the kid from the Valley Stream Bank of America branch that did my HELOC. I see him at Green Acres Mall cruising in his tweaked out Civic listening to gangsta rap all the time.

  58. Posted by UFO | July 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    He's rich, he's a job creator. I want to suck his dick. I love you, Mitt, George, Paris, trump, etc etc fucking whatever

    – GOP zombie

  59. Posted by Guest | July 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    Kid needs to redo his hair plugs.

  60. Posted by HFguy | July 20, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    Alexander Soros, son of George, which examines the struggles he faced in coming to terms with being rich.

    In common parlance it means… having a small penis syndrome when your Dad's babe is hotter than the ones who want to go out with you.

  61. Posted by Brooke | July 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    LOL! Exactly!

  62. Posted by Master Baiter | July 20, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    The kid has got a bad complex thanks to Mom and Dad.

    With mommy off doing her own thing and Dad off doing his own thing and nailing bitches and leaving Ping, the illegal chinese house maid, and the rest of the illegal help raising your kid, no wonder both kids are messed up.

    I can see George telling his boys, "You'll never get hotter chicks than me. So don't even bother trying." No wonder he left parties early so could give himself the stranger.

  63. Posted by guest | July 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    vichyssois = delicious potato soup

  64. Posted by Alex | July 20, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Ain't nothin' wrong with gangsta rap fool!

  65. Posted by Nick | July 20, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Can you apply for a job like that, or do you have to know somebody?

  66. Posted by Anon | July 22, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    He's doing a PhD in history at UCB. That's a top program and he's obviously a smart dude. No one who did not have genuine talent in the subject would be able to get through that.

    It's impressive that he's forging his own path and succeeding at a very high level. Philosophy at NYU is world-class as well.

  67. Posted by Barry | July 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    While his father was away pillaging Serbia one week and Thailand the next, the younger Soros had to content himself with Romanian babies' blood cocktails served by Dilip, his three legged Bengali houseboy.
    "Dilip never wanted to play bocce with severed heads," he says, whistfully. "Perhaps that's why Ming had him executed after my twelfth birthday."
    He now realizes that he had become a caricature of himself, though his father did make sure that he hunted his own ex-convicts on the family's Kentucky shooting reserve, allowing him to cook his own dinner.
    "I loved the taste of hillbilly."

  68. Posted by Guest | July 23, 2012 at 4:11 PM

    Alex finish vichyssoise before going on internet!

    – Ping