Here’s a look at the life of Mexico’s richest man, businessman and investor Carlos Slim.
Birth date: January 28, 1940
Birth place: Mexico City, Mexico
Birth name: Carlos Slim Helú
Father: Julián Slim Haddad, real estate investor
Mother: Linda Helú Atta
Marriage: Soumaya Domit Gemayel (1966-1999, her death)
Children: Carlos, Marco Antonio, Patrick, Soumaya, Vanessa, Johanna
Education: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 1961
Nicknamed “El Ingeniero” (the engineer).
His father was a Lebanese immigrant, as were his maternal grandparents.
His father died when he was 13.
Bought shares of the Banco Nacional de Mexico at 12.
Is a huge baseball fan.
Has been criticized for monopolizing markets in Mexico.
Founded the Telmex Foundation, Carlos Slim Foundation and Historic Center of Mexico City Foundation.
1965 – Acquires a bottling company, Jarritos del Sur, and incorporates a stock brokerage, Inversora Bursatil. Also establishes real estate, construction and mining companies.
January 1966 – Incorporates his real estate company, Inmobiliaria Carso.
1970s-1980s – Expands and diversifies his holdings in real estate, industry and commercial enterprises.
1980 – Slim combines all of his business interests into Grupo Galas, known today as Grupo Carso.
1982 – During Mexico’s financial crisis, Grupo Carso acquires the controlling interest in dozens of companies.
1990 – Grupo Carso goes public and its companies merge. Grupo Carso acquires Telmex, the newly denationalized telecommunications monopoly, in a venture with Southwestern Bell, France Telecom and several Mexican investors. Carso Global Telecom is created as Telmex’s holding company. Slim also acquires mobile telecom company Radiomovil Dipsa, a subsidiary of Telmex, and renames it Telcel.
1994 – Founds Museo Soumaya, a non-profit art museum named after his wife.
March 14, 1994 – Slim’s cousin, financier Harp Helu, is kidnapped. The billionaire is released in June after the family agrees to pay an undisclosed amount, which may have been an almost $30 million ransom.
1995 – Founds the Telmex Foundation.
1996 – Grupo Carso splits into Carso Global Telecom, Grupo Carso and Invercorporacion.
1997 – Purchases Mexico’s arm of Sears Roebuck. Telmex USA begins operation.
1997 – Slim undergoes successful open-heart surgery. Begins handing over day-to-day operations of his businesses to his children.
2000 – Acquires the ailing CompUSA for nearly $800 million.
2005 – After acquiring a 13% stake in MCI, Slim sells off stake to Verizon Communications Corp. for $1.1 billion.
March 2007 – Slim pledges $6 billion to his charitable foundations.
May 2007 – Founds the Carlos Slim Health Institute, a non-profit that aims to make health care affordable and accessible in Latin America, through his Carlos Slim Foundation.
December 2007 – Unable to turn CompUSA around, Slim sells it to a restructuring firm. The retailer shuts down most of its stores and its remaining assets are sold off.
2008-2009 – Buys a nearly 7% stake in the New York Times, and invests $250 million into the company via a six-year lending agreement.
2011 – Opens a new Museo Soumaya facility in Mexico City. The museum is designed by Slim’s son-in-law, architect Fernando Romero.
July 2014 – While attending a business conference, Slim proposes the idea of an 11-hour per day, 33-hour work week. He says the three-day work week would improve quality of life.
January 14, 2015 – Slim exercises warrants to acquire 16 million more shares of the New York Times, making him the company’s largest individual shareholder, with an almost 17% stake.
June 2015 – Slim’s TV production studio, Ora TV, drops a partnership on a project with US President Donald Trump after Trump says in his presidential campaign launch that some Mexicans crossing the border into the United States are “rapists.”
January 18, 2017 – Slim announces plans to launch Nuestra Vision, a television channel tailored to Mexicans living in the United States.
January 27, 2017 – Slim offers to help Mexico negotiate with Trump after seeing the national response Mexico has had in facing the new US government. The billionaire praises Trump’s negotiation skills and says the US president wants to “transform the United States” and there will to be “positive” changes for those in Mexico.
October 2018 – Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel says that he will halt construction of the partially built new Mexico City airport. Slim is a top investor in the $13 billion project, which was rejected in a referendum.
April 30, 2020 – Slim wins a contract to build a portion of the government’s Maya Train, an ambitious infrastructure project that will connect cities in five southeastern states.