Charles R. Schwab

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Charles R. Schwab
Occupation Founder and Chairman
Employer The Charles Schwab Corporation

Charles R. Schwab is the founder and chairman of The Charles Schwab Corporation. He launched the company in 1971 as a traditional brokerage company and in 1974 pioneered the discount brokerage business. He was also the CEO for many years, but stepped down from that post in 2008, and currently owns about a 13% stake in the company.[1]

Schwab is also chairman of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, a private foundation that makes grants to nonprofit organizations selected by the foundation's board and executive staff.[2]


Schwab started out in the investment newsletter industry in 1963 with a publication called Investment Indicator. He launched his discount brokerage firm in 1975, after the Securities and Exchange Commission abolished fixed brokerage commissions, enabling companies such as Schwab to offer stock trades at much lower commission prices than competitors such as Merrill Lynch. This made stock trading affordable for smaller investors. He started the firm with $100,000 borrowed from an uncle.

In 1983, Bank of America bought the company for $55 million, but Schwab bought it back in July 1987 and then took the company public for $280 million.[3]

Schwab battled with dyslexia as a child, at a time when not much was known about it. He only found a name for his condition much later, when his son was diagnosed with it. He and his wife started the Schwab Foundation for Learning to help parents and teachers of children with learning difficulties including dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, and others.[4]