It’s really not surprising that Carlos Slim is as rich as he is; he started buying stock in the Bank of México when he was 12 years old. Since then he has climbed farther than just about anyone up the ladder of success. He rotates in first place being the richest man in the world with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet on an annual basis. There are many in Puerto Vallarta who dislike Slim; every time they have even the tiniest problem with their cell phone or landline, he is the one who takes the blame. Honestly, people should be very grateful to Carlos Slim. There was a time not long ago in Puerto Vallarta when making a phone call outside the 52 calling area (Mexico’s country code) was a tedious process and usually involved complicated planning and not just a little trepidation regarding cost.
Grupo Carso, Slim’s holding company, is so named as a combination of his and his beloved wife Soumaya,s names. Slim has remained unmarried since the loss of his beloved Soumaya in 1999 and though rumors attempt to link him with the likes of such beauties as Lisa Halaby, the widow Queen Noor of Jordan, Slim’s energies are directed to his business and family. Family is extremely important to the richest man in the world; his sons, daughters and sons-in-law are all involved in his enterprises. He continues to live in the modest home he shared with his wife for several decades and scoffs at anyone needing more space.
Slim is a devoted citizen of Mexico and when other financiers have bailed at rough times, the Slims dig in their heels and take advantage of others’ divestments. The greatest was the Mexican government letting go of several monopolies in the 90’s. Grupo Carso and partners purchased Telmex and, with Slim’s ideas, developed the largest wireless server provider in Latin America.
Slim has taken it on the philanthropic chin with the media and citizens alike, who don’t realize the enormity of his contributions. It’s widely known he is against handouts. “Poverty is not fought with donations,” he has stated. “…you fight it with health, education and jobs.” He has put his charity where his mouth is, providing, with Telmex, one of the largest philanthropic institutions in Latin America, university scholarships, nutrition programs, conservation and disaster relief and deep rooted health programs. Hundreds of thousands of bright young students have been afforded the opportunity of higher education.
A scholar of civil engineering and mathematics, Slim taught algebra and linear programming, a math discipline that takes into account the best result of an event related to profit and loss. His
six children earned their educations in Mexican secondary schools and universities, none of them studying abroad.
The Museo Soumaya, run by Slim’s wife in her lifetime, is a great gift to Mexico, housing a treasured compilation of the most famous artists of world history. As well as being a chief sponsor of the restoration and revitalization of Mexico City’s Centro Históric, Slim also funds art research and conservation.
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Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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