1. Carlos Slim Helú has been ranked by Forbes as the richest man in the world for three consecutive years now, with an estimated net worth of US$75.5 billion as of December of 2012. In 2010, he was the first Mexican to be on the top of the list, and it was the first time in 16 years that the richest man in the world was not from the United States.
2. Slim was a smart businessman and saw an opportunity where few others did. With the economic crash of 1982, he began to purchase companies at extremely low prices. He would then change the company around, managing it so efficiently and effectively that within years, the value would be worth considerably more than when he had bought it.
3. In 1994, Carlos Slim Helú founded the not for profit museum, Museo Soumaya, named after his late wife, Soumaya Domit. It contains the second largest collection of Rodin sculptures. It houses 66, 000 pieces and holds the largest Dali collection in Latin America. Everyone welcome and admission is free.
4. Carlos Slim Helú was very intelligent even at a young age. Whilst completing his studies in civil engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, he was both a student and a professor. He taught Algebra and Linear programming at the university.
5. His father married Linda Helú in 1926. Linda’s family has also immigrated to Mexico from Lebanon in the 19th century. Carlos Slim’s mother was the daughter of Jose Helú. He brought along with him from Lebanon his own printing press and published the first Arabic magazine in Mexico.
6. Slim donated US$65 million to fund a research project in genomic medicine with American billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad. He also loaned the New York Times Company, of which he owns 6.9%, US$250 million, saving it from financial loss.
7. His father, Julián Slim Haddad, taught him to spend his money wisely. Even as a multi-billionaire, he lives in a modest 6-bedroom house in Mexico. He does not believe in meaningless consumption and has lived in the same house for the past 30 years. Despite the fears of kidnappings that are prevalent in Mexico, Carlos drives himself to work every day.
8. When Carlos Slim buys a company, he usually turns it around with amazing results. A rare moment for Slim came when he bought the company CompUSA, a failing electronics company. After purchasing the company, he realized that it was non-salvageable and that he had miscalculated the efforts it would take to salvage it. He eventually sold it off in 2007.
9. Slim was born to Lebanese Christian immigrant parents. His father immigrated to Mexico at the age of 15 to escape military conscription. Through hard work and effort, he made his money in real estate during the Mexican Revolution. He successfully started an import and real estate business that went on to become worth millions.
10. Carlos Slim tends not to use computers, and you will not find one in his home office. He prefers to keep all of his data in notebooks, a habit he learned from his father. Haddad taught his son how to read financial sheets and how to keep meticulous records.
11. Carlos Slim controls over 200 companies. Slim says he has lost count of exactly how many companies he owns. Slim’s total net worth is worth about seven percent of Mexico’s Gross Domestic Product.
12. Slim is the chairman of the company, American Movil, which controls 70 percent of Mexico’s mobile-phone business. Slim believes that the rates charged by his telephone companies in Mexico are some of the lowest found in the world.
13. Carlos Slim’s three grown-up sons have begun to put in their share of work in the family empire. Slim reinforces family values in his children and wanted his children to stay in Mexico, so he never sent them to expensive foreign schools. Mondays are reserved for a simple homemade dinner with his children.
14. Even though soccer is Mexico’s national sport, Slim is a big fan of baseball. His favorite team is the sports richest team, the New York Yankees. He keeps track of the team religiously and has a computer like knowledge of the team’s information and match statistics.
15. Carlos Slim has only two expensive habits. Cuban cigars and art. He says he owes his love of art to his late wife, Soumaya Domit. On their honeymoon in 1966, they went to Europe and travelled to Greece, Naples, Spain and France, where he discovered the beauty of true art.
16. In 2008, Slim joined together with former president Clinton to invest $50 million USD for social projects to be initiated throughout Latin America. In 2010, they began a $20 million USD project to help fund small and medium sized firms in Haiti. In 2011, they planned to launch a project, which would use soccer to encourage Mexican teenagers and young adults to return to school.
17. Carlos Slim partnered with Muhammad Yunus, founder of the non-profit Grameen Bank, which provides small loans to the poor. In 2009, the Grameen-Carso microcredit program was launched in Mexico.
18. Carlos Slim’s wife, Soumaya received a kidney transplant, and died from kidney failure in 1999. In memory of their mother, the family has created the National Transplant Foundation, which has aided in providing 6,500 transplants in the last ten years. Through the Carlos Slim Health Institute, US$20 million a year is spent on research and the funding of organ transplants.
19. In May 2012, Slim received an honorary doctorate degree of Public Service by the George Washington University. GWU stated that they wanted to honor Slim for his social projects in Latin America and his admirable philanthropy.
20. Slim likes to say his success is due to noticing opportunity early and seeing it where few else might. He says that he learned these successful business tactics from a book his good friend and futurist writer, Alvin Toffler wrote, Future Shock. Slim and Toffler met in 1993 when Toffler was on a trip to Mexico, and they have been friends since.