Biography Philanthropists

Steve Forbes

Steve Forbes
Steve Forbes
Born Malcolm Stevenson Forbes Jr.
July 18, 1947 (age 71)
Morristown, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater Princeton University (A.B.)
Occupation Publisher
Net worth Increase $430 million (2017)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sabina Beekman (m. 1971)
Children 5

Malcolm Stevenson “Steve” Forbes Jr. (/fɔːrbz/; born July 18, 1947) is an American publishing executive, who was twice a candidate for the nomination of the Republican Party for President of the United States. Forbes is the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes, a business magazine. Forbes was a Republican candidate in the 1996[1] and 2000 Presidential primaries. Forbes is the son of longtime Forbes publisher Malcolm Forbes, and the grandson of that publication’s founder, B.C. Forbes.

Early life[edit]

Forbes was born in Morristown, New Jersey, to Roberta Remsen (née Laidlaw) and Malcolm Forbes.[2][3] Forbes grew up wealthy in the town of Far Hills, New Jersey.


Forbes attended the prestigious Far Hills Country Day School.

In 1966, Forbes graduated “cum laude” from Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts, and from Princeton University, New Jersey, in 1970.[4]While at Princeton, Forbes founded his first magazine, Business Today, with two other students. Business Today is currently the largest student-run magazine in the world.[5] Forbes is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi and Tau Kappa Epsilon.[6] He holds honorary degrees from several universities, including New York Institute of Technology and Lehigh University.[7]

Political career and views[edit]

Early political career[edit]

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Forbes as head of the Board of International Broadcasting (BIB), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Forbes helped craft Christine Todd Whitman‘s[8] plan for a thirty percent cut in New Jersey’s income tax over three years, and this plan proved to be a major factor in her victory over incumbent Governor James Florio.[9][10]

Campaigns for president and major issues[edit]

Logo from 1996 campaign

Forbes entered the Republican primaries for President of the United States in 1996 and 2000, primarily running on a campaign to establish a flat income tax. Forbes also supported the ideas of re-introducing 4½% mortgages and term limits in 1996; however, dropped both in 2000 (as they were minor planks in his overall platform).

When Forbes ran for President in 1996 and 2000, he sold some of his Forbes, Inc. voting shares to other family members to help finance his run. Forbes did not come close to securing the Republican nomination, despite winning the Arizona and Delaware primaries in 1996, and getting some significant shares of the vote in other primaries. Forbes’ awkward campaigning style was considered to be a major factor in his defeat.[11] Time Magazine called his stumping a “comedy-club impression of what would happen if some mad scientist decided to construct a dork robot.”[11] For his 2000 presidential campaign, he raised $86,000,000 in campaign contributions, of which $37,000,000 were self-donated.[12]

Logo from 2000 campaign

After dropping out early in the 2000 primary season, Forbes returned to heading the magazine and company. During the 1996 campaign, insiders at Fortune alleged that stories about Forbes’ advertisers became favorably biased toward them.[13]

Major issues Forbes has supported include free tradehealth savings accounts, and allowing people to opt out 75% of Social Security payroll taxes into personal retirement accounts (PRAs). Forbes supports traditional Republican Party policies such as downsizing government agencies to balance the budget, tough crime laws and support for the death penalty, and school vouchers. Forbes opposes gun control and most government regulation of the environment, as well as drug legalization and same-sex marriage,[14] in spite of his father being gay.[15] In terms of foreign policy, he called for a “US not UN foreign policy” (which is composed of anti-International Monetary Fund sentiments, pro-Israeli sentiment, opposition to Most Favored Nation status for the People’s Republic of China, and anti-UN sentiment.)

Forbes flat tax plan has changed slightly. In 1996, Forbes supported a flat tax of 17% on all personal and corporate earned income (unearned income such as capital gainspensionsinheritance, and savings would be exempt.) However, Forbes supported keeping the first $33,000 of income exempt. In 2000, Forbes maintained the same plan; however, instead of each person receiving an exemption of $33,000, it more closely resembled the Armey Plan (Forbes’ version called for a $13,000 per adult and $5,000 per dependent deduction). Forbes is very wealthy, with a net worth in 1996 of $430 million.[1] In response to this criticism, Forbes promised in his 2000 campaign to exempt himself from the benefits of the flat tax, although he did support the repeal of the 16th Amendment in a debate with Alan Keyes the previous year.

In his 2000 campaign, Forbes professed his support for social conservatism along with his supply-side economics. Despite holding opposite positions in 1996, for the 2000 campaign, Forbes announced he was adamantly opposed to abortion and supported prayer in public schools. The previous year Forbes had issued a statement saying he would no longer donate money to Princeton University due to its hiring of philosopher Peter Singer, who views personhood as being limited to ‘sentient’ beings and therefore considers some disabled people and all infants to lack this status. Steve Forbes was one of the signers of the Statement of Principles of Project for the New American Century (PNAC) on June 3, 1997.

Other political activities[edit]

In 1996, Forbes campaigned on behalf of Ron Paul in the congressional election for Texas’s 14th congressional district.[16]

In December 2006, Forbes joined the Board of Directors of the advocacy organization FreedomWorks. Forbes is also on the board of directors of the National Taxpayers’ Union. Forbes is also a member of the board of trustees of The Heritage Foundation, an influential Washington, D.C.-based public policy research institute.[17] Forbes is a frequent panelist on the television program Forbes on Fox, which also features members of the Forbes magazine staff, and is shown Saturday mornings on Fox News Channel at 11:00 am EST.

On March 28, 2007, Forbes joined Rudy Giuliani‘s campaign for the 2008 Presidential election, serving as a National Co-Chair and Senior Policy Advisor. Later in the 2008 presidential campaign, Forbes served as John McCain‘s Economic Adviser on Taxes, Energy and the Budget during McCain’s bid for the 2008 Presidential election.[18]

In March 2013 Forbes participated in a NPR broadcast Intelligence Squared debate with James Grant, Frederic Mishkin and John R. Taylor jr. concerning the motion “Does America Need A Strong Dollar Policy?”.[19]

Political endorsements[edit]

On January 7, 2010, Forbes announced his endorsement of Rand Paul, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.[20]

On January 28, 2010, he formally endorsed Marco Rubio, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in the State of Florida.[21]

He endorsed incumbent U.S. Senator John McCain, Republican of the State of Arizona for re-election in 2010.[22]

On July 28, 2010, he formally endorsed Peter Schiff, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in the State of Connecticut.[23]

On August 13, 2010, he announced his endorsement of Jim Huffman, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in the State of Oregon.[24]

On August 26, 2010, Forbes formally endorsed Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2nd Congressional District of Iowa.[25]

On September 2, 2010, Forbes formally endorsed State Representative Justin Amash, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan’s 3rd congressional district.[26]

On October 12, 2010, Forbes formally endorsed Bill Hudak, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Massachusetts’s 6th congressional district.[27]

In 2011, Forbes endorsed Texas Governor Rick Perry for President in 2012.[28]

Personal life[edit]

In 1971, he married Sabina Beekman. They have five daughters, including Moira Forbes.[29]


  • Forbes, Steve (1999). The New Birth of Freedom: Vision for America. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing. p. 204. ISBN 978-0895263209OCLC 475198964.
  • Forbes, Steve (2005). Flat Tax Revolution: Using a Postcard to Abolish the IRS. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing. p. 216. ISBN 978-0895260406OCLC 60558651.
  • Forbes, Steve (2012). Freedom Manifesto: Why Free Markets Are Moral and Big Government Isn’t. Crown Business Publishing. p. 304. ISBN 978-0307951571.
  • Forbes, Steve; Ames, Elizabeth (2015). Reviving America: How Repealing Obamacare, Replacing the Tax Code and Reforming The Fed will Restore Hope and Prosperity. McGraw-Hill Education. p. 224. ISBN 978-1259641121.


  1. Jump up to:a b Mitt Romney to report financial assets of at least $190 million Fox News
  2. Jump up^ “Milestones: Nov. 4, 1985”Time. April 18, 2005. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  3. Jump up^ “Ancestry of Steve Forbes (b. 1947)”. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  4. Jump up^ Bumiller, Elisabeth. “POLITICS: ON THE TRAIL;In Political Quest, Forbes Runs in Shadow of Father”The New York Times, February 11, 1996. Accessed December 11, 2007. “Christine Todd, Mr. Forbes’s childhood friend from the Far Hills Country Day school, would grow up to become Governor Whitman… His son went off to the Brooks School in North Andover, Mass., then on to Princeton, Malcolm Forbes’s alma mater.”
  5. Jump up^ “Lyceum Series – March 20, 2007: Steve Forbes”. ULM University of Louisiana at Monroe. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  6. Jump up^ “Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity :: News”. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  7. Jump up^ Sellers, Bob (2010-06-17). Forbes Best Business Mistakes: How Today’s Top Business Leaders Turned Missteps into SuccessISBN 9780470768334.
  8. Jump up^ “Crossfire”CNN. Retrieved May 24, 2010.
  9. Jump up^ “Welfare states – benefits of tax cuts”National Review. Archived from the original on 2006-04-16.
  10. Jump up^ “Nowhere Girl”National Review. Archived from the original on 2007-10-16.
  11. Jump up to:a b CALVIN TRILLIN Monday, Feb. 26, 1996 (February 26, 1996). “Primary Fixation”. TIME. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  12. Jump up^ “Steve Forbes – $86,012,139 raised, ’00 election cycle, Republican Party, President”. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
  13. Jump up^ POLITICS: ON THE TRAIL;In Political Quest, Forbes Runs in Shadow of Father
  14. Jump up^ Steve Forbes:On The Issues
  15. Jump up^ Bumiller, Elisabeth. “POLITICS: ON THE TRAIL;In Political Quest, Forbes Runs in Shadow of Father”The New York Times, February 11, 1996. Accessed December 14, 2009.
  16. Jump up^ Caldwell, Christopher (July 22, 2007). “The Antiwar, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Drug-Enforcement-Administration, Anti-Medicare Candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul”New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  17. Jump up^ “Board of Trustees”The Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original on March 4, 2010. Retrieved October 16,2015.
  18. Jump up^ Goldsmith, Brian Steve Forbes: McCain Isn’t Bush, CBS July 11, 2008.
  19. Jump up^ NPR Staff (March 18, 2013). “Does America Need A Strong Dollar Policy?”NPR.
  20. Jump up^ “Steve Forbes endorses Rand Paul | Rand Paul 2010 | U.S. Senate”. Rand Paul 2010. January 7, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  21. Jump up^ “Steve Forbes Endorses Marco Rubio for Senate”. December 28, 2010. Archived from the original on February 1, 2010.
  22. Jump up^ “MediaPost Publications John McCain Campaign Gets Social 02/05/2010”. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  23. Jump up^ “The Shotgun: Peter Schiff garners endorsment [sic] from Steve Forbes”. July 29, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  24. Jump up^ “Steve Forbes in Oregon to Endorse Huffman for U.S. Senate” (Press release). August 13, 2010. Archived from the original on November 4, 2010.
  25. Jump up^ “Forbes says he’s not running in 2012”. August 26, 2010. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  26. Jump up^ “Steve Forbes Endorses Justin Amash for Congress”. September 2, 2010. Archived from the original on September 20, 2010.
  27. Jump up^ “Endorse Bill | Bill Hudak for Congress”. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  28. Jump up^ RPerry2012. “Steve Forbes Endorses Rick Perry and His Plan to Cut, Balance, and Grow”. YouTube. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
  29. Jump up^ “Eugene Register-Guard”. Google News Archive Search. Retrieved October 16, 2015.

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