New York Times’ Top Shareholder Is a Clinton Foundation Donor

A rundown of the many connections between the Times and the Clintons

Carlos Slim
Carlos Slim / AP
June 10, 2015

Even as the New York Times reports extensively and critically on the Clinton Foundation and its activities during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, as with other news outlets, multiple high-dollar donors to the foundation are associated with the paper, including the Times’ top shareholder, Carlos Slim.

Slim, a Mexican telecom tycoon whose net worth of nearly $80 billion makes him the second richest man in the world, became the top shareholder of the New York Times earlier this year after he doubled his shares to take control of 16.8 percent of the company.

Not only has Slim contributed between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 to the Clinton Foundation, but his company Telmex has contributed an additional grant between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 through its foundation. Slim has also pledged $100 million to the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, a collaboration between the Clinton Foundation and Canadian mining tycoon Frank Giustra.

Slim earned his fortune by gaining a stranglehold on the Mexican telecom industry so tight that the constitution had to be amended earlier this year to give other companies a chance. His net worth managed to grow following the new antitrust regulations, and he is now strengthening his hold over the Mexican banking sector.

In addition to the charitable giving, Hillary Clinton was paid between $250,000 and $500,000 for a speech she gave to Slim's Telmex Foundation.

Slim takes pride in the amount of praise that has been showered on him by the Clintons, even featuring a laudatory statement from Bill Clinton at the top of his personal website.

Screen capture of, June 9, 2015

Slim was given an award for his philanthropic work by Clinton at the 2006 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, which was presented to him by actress Eva Longoria. He was honored again in 2012, when he was given the CGI Global Citizen Award.

The praise for Slim is not universal. Slim has been referred to as "Mr. Monopoly" and is often met with protestors complaining of his "corrupt and monopolistic" business practices that "keep millions of Mexicans in poverty."

Slim's telecom empire has spread into the United States, where one of his companies was on the receiving end of money from a federal mobile phone subsidy for the poor by providing what have come to be known as "Obama phones."

Credit: The Telmex Foundation
Hillary Clinton hugs Carlos Slim in 2014 / Credit: The Telmex Foundation

Slim does not appear to be the only person tied to the Times that has given money to the Clintons. Also on the Clinton Foundation list of donors are James A. Kohlberg and Mark Thompson. Kohlberg contributed between $50,001 and $100,000, and Thompson contributed between $10,001 and $25,000.

James A. Kohlberg is the name of a member of the New York Times’ board of directors, and Mark Thompson is the name of the president and CEO of the New York Times Company.

Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy said that she could not comment on the Kohlberg donation, but that Thompson has never made a donation to the Clinton Foundation.

"As a matter of policy, we do not comment on our directors or shareholders personal contributions to charity," said Murphy. "In the case of Mark Thompson, I was able to ask him and he has never made a donation to the Clinton Foundation."

The Clinton Foundation did not respond to questions regarding the identity of the donors.

The money has not only flowed from the Times to the Clintons. In 2008, the Clinton Family Foundation contributed $100,000 to the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, a charity controlled by the organization’s board of directors and senior executives that assists underprivileged New Yorkers.

Individuals on staff at the New York Times have also been put front and center at Clinton Foundation events.

For example, David Leonhardt, a top political reporter at the Times who is managing editor of "The Upshot" was the moderator for a "no ceilings" discussion with Hillary Clinton and Clinton Foundation donor Melinda Gates at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting.

Other Times members that have participated in CGI events are columnists Thomas Friedman (in both 2006 and 2010), Nicholas Kristof (in 2009, 20122013, and 2014), and David Sheff (in 2014).

Andrew Revkin, who left the Times in 2009 but still writes for the publication, has participated in CGI events in 2010 and 2013. He was also the keynote speaker for a CGI donor meeting on climate change in 2008. Bill Clinton sat down with Revkin in 2007 to unveil a new initiative to fight climate change.