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Editor-in-chiefSteve Forbes
PublisherForbes publishing
First issue1917
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City
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Editor-in-chiefSteve Forbes
PublisherForbes publishing
First issue1917
CountryUnited States
Based inNew York City

Forbes is an American business magazine owned by Forbes, Inc. Published biweekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, and law. Headquarters are in New York City. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Businessweek which recently was sold to Bloomberg. The magazine is well known for its lists, including its lists of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400), highest-paid stars under 30,[1] and its list of billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is "The Capitalist Tool." Its editor-in-chief is Steve Forbes.


Company history

B. C. Forbes, a financial columnist for the Hearst papers, and his partner Walter Drey, the general manager of the Magazine of Wall Street,[2] founded Forbes magazine in 1917.[3] Forbes provided the money and the name and Drey provided the publishing expertise. The original name of the magazine was Forbes: Devoted to Doers and Doings.[2] Drey became vice-president of the B.C. Forbes Publishing Company,[4] while B.C. Forbes became editor-in-chief, a post he held until his death in 1954. B.C. Forbes was assisted in his later years by his two eldest sons, Bruce Charles Forbes (1916–1964) and Malcolm Stevenson Forbes (1917–1990).

Bruce Forbes took over on his father's death, and his strengths lay in streamlining operations and developing marketing.[3] During his tenure, 1954–1964, the magazine's circulation nearly doubled.[3]

On Malcolm's death, his eldest son Malcolm Stevenson "Steve" Forbes Jr. (1947–) became President and Chief Executive of Forbes and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine.[5] Between 1961 and 1999 the magazine was edited by James Michaels.[6] In 1993, under Michaels, Forbes was a finalist for the National Magazine Award.[7] In 2006, an investment group Elevation Partners that includes rock star Bono bought a minority interest in the company.[5][8] A 2009 New York Times report said: "40 percent of the enterprise was sold ... for a reported $300 million, setting the value of the enterprise at $750 million. According to Mark M. Edmiston of AdMedia Partners, 'It’s probably not worth half of that now.'"[9]

Forbes headquarters on 5th Avenue in Manhattan (now owned by New York University)

Other publications

Apart from Forbes and its lifestyle supplement, Forbes Life, other titles include Forbes Asia and fifteen local language editions. Steve Forbes and his magazine's writers offer investment advice on the weekly Fox TV show Forbes on Fox and on Forbes On Radio. Other company groups include Forbes Conference Group, Forbes Investment Advisory Group and Forbes Custom Media. From the 2009 Times report: "Steve Forbes recently returned from opening up a Forbes magazine in India, bringing the number of foreign editions to 10. In addition, this year the company began publishing ForbesWoman, a quarterly magazine with a companion Web site."[9]

The company formerly published American Legacy magazine as a joint venture, although that magazine separated from Forbes as of May 14, 2007.[10]

The company also formerly published American Heritage and Invention & Technology magazines. After failing to find a buyer, Forbes suspended publication of these two magazines as of May 17, 2007.[11] Both magazines have since been purchased by the American Heritage Publishing Company, and have resumed publication as of Spring 2008.[12]

David Churbuck founded Forbes' Web site in 1996. The site uncovered Stephen Glass' journalistic fraud in The New Republic in 1998, an article that drew attention to internet journalism. At the peak of media coverage of alleged Toyota sudden unintended acceleration in 2010 it exposed the California “runaway Prius” as a hoax, as well as running five other articles by Michael Fumento challenging the entire media premise of Toyotas suddenly gone bad. The site, like the magazine, publishes many lists focusing on billionaires and their possessions, especially expensive homes, a critical aspect of the website's apparent popularity.[13] employs the slogan "Home Page For The World's Business Leaders" and sometimes claims to be the world's most widely visited business web site.[14]

The company's current chief executive officer is Mike Perlis; the current chief product officer is Lewis D'vorkin; the current editor of the magazine is Randall Lane. now employs a new slogan – "Information for the World's Business Leaders". According to, the Web site is among the most trusted resources for senior business executives, providing them the real-time reporting, uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and community they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning. also publishes subscription investment newsletters, and an online guide to web sites, Best of the Web. is part of Forbes Digital, a division of Forbes Media LLC. Forbes' holdings include a portion of RealClearPolitics. Together these sites reach more than 27 billion unique visitors each month.

The 2009 Times report said that, while "one of the top five financial sites by traffic [throwing] off an estimated $70 million to $80 million a year in revenue, [it] never yielded the hoped-for public offering."[9]

Forbes currently allows advertisers to publish blog posts on its website alongside regular editorial content through a program called AdVoice, which accounts for more than 10 percent its digital revenue.[15]

Forbes Building on Fifth Avenue in New York City (now owned by New York University)

Sale of headquarters to New York University

In January 2010, Forbes reached an agreement to sell its headquarter building located on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to New York University. Terms of the deal were not publicly reported, but Forbes will continue to occupy the space under a five year sale-leaseback arrangement.[16]

In popular culture

The popularity of Forbes magazine has extended to mainstream and Hip-Hop culture. 50 Cent has released the official remix to his hit single, "I Get Money", off his September 11, 2008 album, Curtis, titled "Forbes 1,2,3" (also known as the "Billion Dollar Remix"). The title of the song comes from the fact that Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Diddy were listed as Forbes' Top 3 money-making Kings of Hip-Hop, respectively. The unfinished video for "Forbes 1,2,3" can be seen as the intro to 50 Cent's single, "I Still Kill" featuring Akon, off the multi-platinum album Curtis, and in the song "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars, the latter mentioning "the cover of Forbes magazine, smilin' next to Oprah and the Queen."


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Notes of a Business Quizzer: Forbes" (July 6, 2007)
  3. ^ a b c Gorman, Robert F. (ed.) (2007) "September 15, 1917: Forbes Magazine is founded" The Twentieth Century, 1901–1940 (Volume III) Salem Press, Pasadena, California, pp.1374–1376, p. 1375, ISBN 978-1-58765-327-8
  4. ^ Commerce and Industry Association of New York (November 18, 1922) "The Association Prepares for New Demands: The Volunteer Workers" Greater New York: Bulletin of the Merchants' Association of New York Commerce and Industry Association of New York, New York, p. 6, OCLC 2447287
  5. ^ a b 'Forbes Announce Elevation Partners Investment in Family Held Company' Elevation Partners press release, August 6, 2006.
  6. ^ Pérez-Peña, Richard (October 4, 2007). "James Michaels, Longtime Forbes Editor, Dies at 86 – New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  7. ^ "National Magazine Awards Database". Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  8. ^ "NussbaumOnDesign Bono Buys Into Forbes, Launches Product Red in US and Expands His Brand. – BusinessWeek". Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  9. ^ a b c "Even Forbes is Pinching Pennies" by David Carr, The New York Times, June 14, 2009 (June 15, 2009 on p. B1 of the NY ed.). Retrieved June 15, 2009.
  10. ^ With The May 14 Announced Separation: Twelve-Year-Old "American Legacy"/"Forbes" Partnership Was Mutually Beneficial. Industry & Business Article – Research, News, Information, Contacts, Divisions, Subsidiaries, Business Associations
  11. ^ McGrath, Charles (May 17, 2007). "Magazine Suspends Its Run in History". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ / Thank You for Your Feedback on the American Heritage Winter 2008 Issue
  13. ^ "Jobs: Motley to Leave Time Inc., Plus More Job-Hopping Fun". Retrieved January 5, 2008. 
  14. ^ Edmonston, Peter (August 28, 2006). "At, Lots of Glitter but Maybe Not So Many Visitors". New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Forbes gives advertisers an editorial voice". emedia. 
  16. ^ Forbes Sells Building to N.Y.U.. New York Timed Media Decoder. Retrieved on January 7, 2010.

Further reading

External links