B.C. Forbes: Put titans in print
On May 1, 1985, The New York Times reported the death of a South African newspaper: "After 83 years, The Rand Daily Mail, closed by its management because of financial losses, published its last edition . . ." Few would associate Bertie Charles Forbes, or "B.C." as he was generally known, with The Rand Daily Mail, but in 1902, the 22-year-old was one of its founders. Although The Rand Daily Mail is no longer with us, another B.C. venture -- Forbes magazine -- is not only sound and alive, it is flourishing. Its annual reports profiling the richest people are so popular that presses throughout the world treat them as news. B.C. was born in New Deer, Scotland, in 1880, the sixth of 10 children. His father was a storekeeper and tailor. When B.C. was 9, he herded cattle, rising at 5 a.m. and walking half a mile through the Aberdeenshire fields to get to work. He also shined shoes, and by the time he was 13 had taught himself shorthand. A year later, he left Whitehill school to become a printer's devil for the Dundee Courier; it paid $2.50 for a 60-hour workweek!