Carlos Slim was born in 1940, Mexico City, to parents of a Lebanese descent. He was one of six children, and his father was a successful dry goods business owner. He and his siblings were taught business from an early age by their father, and at the age of 12, he bought shares in a bank. His father died in 1953, but he continued to work in business until he was 17. He studied civil engineering, and taught algebra and linear programming while at school, and went into business immediately after graduating.
Slim began his own career as a trader in Mexico, and soon started his own brokerage that invested in businesses. By 1965, he could incorporate other companies or buy them. He later was focused on construction, mining, and real estate, and he continued to get businesses in those fields. In the 1970’s, he grew his empire by buying companies in various industries, and by 1980 he united his interests all together. He has acquired many companies like Telmex and is the largest individual shareholder in the New York Times, of 16.8%.
He married Soumaya Domit in 1967, and had six children, his wife died in 1999. He also founded three non-profit foundations, which concentrate on Mexico City and look after arts, education, and healthcare.