The choice is not an obvious one as Soros, now 92, once said he did not want his Open Society Foundations, known as OSF, to be taken over by one of his five children.

But speaking of his decision to turn over the foundation and the rest of his $25 billion empire to son Alex, who's 37, the elder Soros said (quote): "He's earned it."

Soros is known for his huge donations to liberal causes - something Alex said he plans to continue doing, telling the Journal that he is "more political" than his father.

Said Alex (quote), "As much as I would love to get money out of politics, as long as the other side is doing it, we will have to do it too."

The OSF board elected Alex as its chairman in December, and he now directs political activity as president of Soros' political action committee.

According to the Journal, the foundation directs about $1.5 billion a year to groups such as those backing human rights around the world and helping to build democracies.