Charles R. Schwab

Charles R. Schwab Biography

Charles R. Schwab is an American businessman and investor and the founder of the Charles Schwab Corporation.

Early life and education

Schwab was born in Sacramento, California. He attended Santa Barbara High School in Santa Barbara, CA and was captain of the golf team. He also attended pre-college school at Holy Rosary Academy in Woodland, California. Schwab is dyslexic, but was unaware until the age of 40; he had no interest in it until he learned that his son was dyslexic as well. The Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation aims to assist children with the disorder. Despite having a very similar name, Charles R. Schwab is not related to Charles M. Schwab, the American steel magnate. Schwab graduated from Stanford University in 1959 with a B.A. in Economics. In 1961, he graduated from Stanford Graduate School of Business with an MBA. Schwab is a knight of the Sigma Nu fraternity.


In 1963, Charles R. "Chuck" Schwab and two other partners launched Investment Indicator, an investment newsletter. At its height, the newsletter had 3,000 subscribers, each paying $84 a year to subscribe. In April 1971, the firm was incorporated in California as First Commander Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Commander Industries, Inc., for traditional, brokerage services and to publish the Schwab investment newsletter. In November of that year, Mr. Schwab and four others purchased all the stock from Commander Industries, Inc., and in 1972, Mr. Schwab bought all the stock from what was once Commander Industries. In 1973, the company name was changed to Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. In September 1975, Schwab opened its first branch in Sacramento, CA, and started offering discount brokerage. In 1977 Schwab began offering seminars to clients, and by 1978 Schwab had 45,000 client accounts total, the number growing to 84,000 in 1979. In 1980 Schwab established the industry's first 24-hour quotation service, and the total of client accounts grew to 147,000. In 1981 Schwab became a member of the NYSE, and the total of client accounts grew to 222,000. In 1982, Schwab became the first to offer 24/7 order entry and quote service, its first international office was opened in Hong Kong, and the number of client accounts totaled 374,000.

Today, the company serves 8.2 million client brokerage accounts, with $1.65 trillion in assets (as of September 2011), from over 300 offices in the U.S., one office in Puerto Rico, one branch in London, and one branch in Hong Kong. Clients can also access services online and by telephone.

Personal life

Schwab is the father of five children, including a son, Sandy, who played quarterback at Northwestern University who is also the father to 5 children, Haley, Samantha, Sydney, and Charlie Schwab and his youngest daughter Hailey miller. A practicing Roman Catholic, he and his wife Helen currently live in Woodside, California, and are involved in philanthropy. Charles is also an avid golfer with an 8 handicap and a member at San Francisco Golf Club.

See also

  • Sigma Nu LEADership learning program

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