Malcolm Forbes became publisher of the magazine Forbes on his father’s death in 1954. The magazine grew steadily under his leadership and the publication became one of America’s most successful business magazines, with a circulation of 735,000. Its annual list of the richest 400 people in America is one of the most widely quoted sources on the subject of wealth in the United States.
Legendary for his lavish lifestyle, he chose Tangier, Morocco as the country 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 CEOs of scores of multinational corporations.
Malcolm Forbes became an avid motorcyclist late in life. He founded and rode with a motorcycle club called the ‘Capitalist Tools‘.
“It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem.”
“Let your children go if you want to keep them.”
“Success follows doing what you want to do. There is no other way to be successful.”
“Those who enjoy responsibility usually get it; those who merely like exercising authority usually lose it.”
“Anyone who says businessmen deal in facts, not fiction, has never read old five-year projections.”
“Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time.”
“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.”
“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.”
“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.”
“It’s more fun to arrive a conclusion than to justify it.”
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.”
“Contrary to the cliché, genuinely nice guys most often finish first or very near it.”
“Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.”
“One worthwhile task carried to a successful conclusion is worth half-a-hundred half-finished tasks.”
“When you cease to dream you cease to live.”
– Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990)
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