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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Malcolm Stevenson Forbes (August 19, 1919 – February 24, 1990) was publisher of Forbes magazine, founded by his father B.C. Forbes and today run by his son Steve Forbes.

He was a graduate of the Lawrenceville School and Princeton University[1], where he donated the money for Forbes College, one of the six residential colleges at the University. He received an honorary degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and was initiated as an honorary member of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau.



Forbes Magazine headquarters, New York City

After dabbling in politics, including service in the New Jersey Senate from 1951 to 1957 and candidacy for Governor of New Jersey[1], he committed to the magazine full time by 1957, three years after his father's death, and after the death of his brother Bruce Charles Forbes in 1964 acquired sole control of the company.

The magazine grew steadily under his leadership, and he diversified into real estate sales and other ventures. One of his last projects was the magazine Egg, which chronicled New York's nightlife. (The title had nothing to do with Forbes's famous Fabergé egg collection.)

Malcolm Forbes was legendary for his lavish lifestyle, his private Capitalist Tool B727 trijet, ever larger Highlander yachts, huge art collection, substantial collection of Harley-Davidson motorbikes, his French Chateau (near Bayeux, Normandy, in Balleroy), his collections of special shape hot air balloons and historical documents, as well as his opulent birthday parties. Additionally in the mid 1960's he was a fixture at NYC's famous Cat Club on Wednesday nights, supporting local musical talents, it was there that he mingled with everyone from socialites to the average person, all of whom he is reported to have treated equally.

He chose the Palais Mendoub (which he had acquired from the Moroccan government in 1970) in the northwestern city of Tangier, Morocco to host his 70th birthday party. Spending an estimated $2.5 million, he chartered a Boeing 747, a DC-8 and a Concorde to fly in eight hundred of the world's rich and famous from New York and London. The guests included his friend Elizabeth Taylor (who acted as a co-host), Gianni Agnelli, Robert Maxwell, Barbara Walters, Henry Kissinger, half a dozen US state governors, and the CEOs of scores of multinational corporations likely to advertise in his magazine. The party entertainment was on a grand scale, including 600 drummers, acrobats and dancers and a fantasia - a cavalry charge which ends with the firing of muskets into the air - by 300 Berber horsemen.

Malcolm Forbes became a motorcyclist late in life. He founded and rode with a motorcycle club called the Capitalist Tools. His estate in New Jersey was a regular meeting place for tours that he organized for fellow New Jersey and New York motorcyclists. He had a stable of motorcycles but was partial to Harley Davidson machines. He was known for his gift of Purple Passion, a Harley-Davidson, to actress Elizabeth Taylor. He was also instrumental in getting legislation passed to allow motorcycles on the cars-only Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. He was inducted to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999.[2]

Death and aftermath

He died in 1990 of a heart attack, at his home in Far Hills, New Jersey.[1]

In March 1990, soon after his death, OutWeek magazine published a story with the cover headline "The Secret Gay Life of Malcolm Forbes," by Michelangelo Signorile, which outed Forbes as a gay man.[3] Signorile was critical of the media for helping Forbes publicize many aspects of his life while keeping his homosexuality a secret. The writer asked, "Is our society so overwhelmingly repressive that even individuals as all-powerful as the late Malcolm Forbes feel they absolutely cannot come out of the closet?"[4]

The nine Fabergé eggs he acquired were scheduled to be auctioned in April 2004 by Sotheby's, with a pre-sale estimate that they would sell for an average of US$10 million apiece. However, Russian oil magnate and art collector Victor Vekselberg made a deal in February to buy the entire collection for $100 million.


  1. ^ a b c James, George. "Malcolm Forbes, Publisher, Dies at 70", The New York Times, February 26, 1990. Accessed October 24, 2007. "Malcolm Forbes, chairman and editor in chief of Forbes Magazine and a flamboyant multimillionaire whose enthusiastic pursuits included yachting, motorcycling and ballooning, died Saturday of a heart attack in his sleep at his home in Far Hills, N.J.... Young Forbes attended the Lawrenceville School and Princeton University, where he majored in politics and economics.... Entering politics in 1949, he was elected to the Borough Council in Bernardsville, N.J., and from 1951 to 1957 served in the New Jersey Senate and then ran for governor on the Republican ticket with a pledge of No State Income Tax."
  2. ^ Malcolm Forbes at the Motorcycle Hall of Fame
  3. ^ Gabriel Rotello (May 1990). "The Ethics of Outing". FineLine: The Newsletter On Journalism Ethics (Archived at Indiana University School of Journalism ethics cases online) 2 (2): 6. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  4. ^ Signorile, Michelangelo (March 18, 1990), "The Other Side of Malcolm Forbes", Outweek (38): 40-45, 

See also

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Paul L. Troast
Republican Nominee for Governor of New Jersey
Succeeded by
James P. Mitchell


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Malcolm Stevenson Forbes (1919-08-19 - 1990-02-24) was the publisher of Forbes magazine.


  • Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.
  • Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time.
  • By the time we've made it, we've had it.
  • Contrary to the cliché, genuinely nice guys most often finish first or very near it.
  • Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.
  • Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.
  • Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
    • Variants: The goal of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
      The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
  • Elected leaders who forget how they got there won't the next time.
  • Everybody has to be somebody to somebody to be anybody.
  • Executives who get there and stay suggest solutions when they present the problems.
  • Failure is success if we learn from it.
  • Few businessmen are capable of being in politics, they don't understand the democratic process, they have neither the tolerance or the depth it takes. Democracy isn't a business.
  • How to succeed? Try hard enough.
  • If you don't know what to do with many of the papers piled on your desk, stick a dozen colleagues' initials on 'em, and pass them along. When in doubt, route.
  • If you expect nothing, you're apt to be surprised. You'll get it.
  • If you have a job without any aggravations, you don't have a job.
  • If you have no critics you'll likely have no success.
  • If you never budge, don't expect a push.
  • It is all one to me if a man comes from Sing Sing Prison or Harvard. We hire a man, not his history.
  • It's more fun to arrive at a conclusion than to justify it.
  • It's so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about the problem.
  • It’s always worthwhile to make others aware of their worth.
  • Keeping score of old scores and scars, getting even and one-upping, always makes you less than you are.
  • Let your children go if you want to keep them.
  • Men who never get carried away should be.
    • Variant: People who never get carried away should be.
  • Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he's hired to do.
  • One can pay back the loan of gold, but one lives forever in debt to those who are kind.
  • One worthwhile task carried to a successful conclusion is worth half-a-hundred half-finished tasks.
  • Pay your people the least possible and you'll get from them the same.
  • People who matter are most aware that everyone else does, too.
  • People who never get carried away should be.
  • Presence is more than just being there.
  • Retirement kills more people than hard work ever did.
  • Success follows doing what you want to do. There is no other way to be successful.
  • The best vision is insight.
  • The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.
  • The more sympathy you give, the less you need.
  • There is never enough time, unless you're serving it.
  • There's no way to move without making waves.
  • Those who enjoy responsibility usually get it; those who merely like exercising authority usually lose it.
  • To measure the man, measure his heart.
  • Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
  • Victory is sweetest when you've known defeat.
  • What's an expert? I read somewhere, that the more a man knows, the more he knows, he doesn't know. So I suppose one definition of an expert would be someone who doesn't admit out loud that he knows enough about a subject to know he doesn't really know how much.
  • When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse. And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better.
  • When what we are is what we want to be, that's happiness.
  • When you cease to dream you cease to live.
  • You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.

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