Carlos Slim Helú Biography

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Slim was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1940 to  Christian parents, Julián Slim Haddad and Linda Helú, both of Lebanese descent.  Linda Helú was born in Parral, Chihuahua, of Lebanese parents who had immigrated to Mexico in the late 19th century. His father immigrated to Mexico at the age of 14 in 1902 and changed his first name to Julián.   In 1911, Julián established a dry goods store, La Estrella del Oriente (The Star of the Orient). By 1921, he had purchased real estate in the flourishing commercial district of Mexico City. These enterprises became the source of considerable wealth. In August 1926, Julián Slim and Linda Helú married. They had six children: Nour, Alma, Julián, José, Carlos and Linda.  Slim and his siblings were taught basic business practices by their father. At the age of 17, Carlos earned 200 pesos a week working for his father's company. He went on to study engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. In 1965 he incorporated Inversora Bursátil and then bought Jarritos del Sur. In 1966, already worth US$40 million, he founded Inmobiliaria Carso. Three months later he married Soumaya Domit and they remained married until her death in 1999. Construction, real estate and mining businesses were the focus of his early career. By 1972 Carlos had acquired a further seven businesses in these categories. In 1976 he branched out by buying a 60% interest in a printing business and in 1980 he consolidated his business interests by forming Grupo Galas as the parent company of a conglomerate that had interests in industry, construction, mining, retail, food and tobacco. In 1982 the Mexican economy, which had substantially relied on oil exports, contracted rapidly as the price of oil fell and interest rates rose worldwide. Banks and other businesses were nationalized, crippled or collapsed and the peso was devalued. At this time, and during the period of recovery to 1985, Slim invested heavily. He bought outright, or a large percentage...
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