Malcolm Forbes

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Malcolm Forbes was a media magnate who known to be sympathetic to tobacco companies. In 1989 Forbes, who was a collector of Faberge eggs, started a new magazine called "Egg" that sought tobacco and alcohol advertising.[1][1]

A March 1985 Philip Morris discussion document for top management written by Hamish Maxwell, a former Philip Morris chief executive, outlines a broad strategy for the company to start shaping public opinion in the company's favor. Maxwell urges Philip Morris to use its "very considerable clout with the media," who "like the money they make from our advertisements," and names Rupert Murdoch and Malcolm Forbes as media proprietors "sympathetic to our position."[2]

According to a biographical note on the website of Business News Luminaries, Malcolm Forbes, the father of Steve Forbes, "flew balloons, rode and collected motorcycles, threw lavish parties and had a solid sense of news. In the 1970s, Frank Lalli, on a suggestion from Mr. Forbes, started reporting and researching "Who Owns New York?" The result: a stunning cover that revealed who owned New York City real estate. It won a National Magazine Award."

"Yet Mr. Forbes, adventurer, automobile connoisseur, master capitalist and publishing magnate, who died in March 1990,[3] pretty much let staffers run the magazine. Wayne Welch, who worked for Mr. Forbes in the 1960s, one of dozens of distinguished Forbes alumni, said of his boss: 'Malcolm was an ideal publisher. He made lots of money and let the editorial side alone'," the profile stated.

Articles and Resources


  1. David Carr, "Investors, including Bono, buy a piece of Forbes", International Herald Tribune, August 7, 2006.

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