Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Sr

portrait of Malcolm Forbes

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Born: 19 August 1919, Englewood, New Jersey
Died: 24 February 1990, Far Hills, New Jersey

Forbes was the third son of Bertie Charles Forbes, a Scottish immigrant who had founded Forbes magazine in 1917. Malcolm attended the Laurenceville School and Princeton University, graduating in 1941. Immediately after graduation, B.C. Forbes gave him a weekly newspaper, the Fairfield (Ohio) Times. A year later he enlisted in the Army and served as a machine gun sergeant in Europe, earning a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He married in 1946, the couple divorced amicably 39 years later. He served six years in the New Jersey Senate and then ran for governor, in his words he was "nosed out by a landslide". From 1957 to his death he devoted himself to running the family magazine which had 735,000 subscribers of the American version along with numerous foreign versions and other businesses. In the late 1960s he took up motorcycle riding and organized (and publicized) many rides with groups of celebrities and business executives. He had 68 motorcycles in his collections, mostly Harley-Davidsons. He took a balloon ride in 1972 and was so taken with it that he had a commercial balloonist's license five months later and set six world records. He was also the first to fly coast to coast across the US in a hot air balloon in 1974. In later life he was often seen with Elizabeth Taylor, he gave her a Harley named Purple Passion and she was his co-host at his storied $2.5 million 70th birthday party. He died in his sleep of a heart attack immediately after returning from England on his 727. The last page in Forbes was always given over to quotations. When I subscribed to the magazine in the '70s I started tearing those page out, when I got my first computer I pulled out a folder full of them and started typing them in, the genesis of the current database here.

Biography from Wikipedia and New York Times obituary

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