Famous Veteran: Malcolm Forbes

Malcolm Forbes, chairman of Forbes magazine, waves from the gondola as he departs on a demonstration flight of a hot-air balloon in Japan.
Malcolm Forbes, chairman of Forbes magazine, waves from the gondola on Saturday, July 26, 1986, as he departs on a demonstration flight of the 26-meter-high, 15-meter-wide hot-air balloon, the Golden Temple, over Chofu on the western outskirts of Tokyo. (Itsuo Inouye/AP Photo)

Malcolm Forbes is one of the most famous names in the world of business. He was born in 1919 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Scottish immigrant parents. Forbes graduated from Princeton University in 1941 and was inducted into the Army as a private at the start of World War II.

Forbes was assigned to a heavy machine gun section in the 334th Infantry, 84th Infantry Division -- the "Railsplitters." He served in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Wounded in the thigh in combat at the Battle of Aachen, Forbes spent 10 months recovering in military hospitals before being discharged in August 1945 with the rank of staff sergeant. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

His father founded Forbes magazine in 1917, but the publication wasn't successful until Malcolm took over as publisher after his father's death in 1954. Under his stewardship, circulation soared to 735,000, and Forbes became one of the most important business magazines.

Forbes' annual list of the wealthiest 400 people in America is one of the most popular features of any magazine. Forbes magazine made Malcolm a multimillionaire, and he became known for his colorful hobbies, including hot-air ballooning. He set the record for the first coast-to-coast hot air balloon flight.

His son, Malcolm Jr. (known as Steve), became president and CEO of Forbes Inc. in 1990 and ran unsuccessful campaigns for the Republican nomination for president in 1996 and 2000.

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