Few individuals have done as much to revolutionize the American economy as Charles R. Schwab, Hudson Institute’s 2023 Herman Kahn Award honoree. A native Californian who earned his BA and MBA at Stanford, his eponymous company was among the first to make investing available to the general public. He started the then San Francisco–based Charles Schwab Corporation in 1971 as a traditional brokerage company, and in 1973 became a pioneer in the discount brokerage business. Schwab broke down the walls that had previously made investing inaccessible and expensive for the average American, democratizing investing and allowing millions to create wealth and growing the American economy significantly.
Charles Schwab & Company remained ahead of the curve by providing superior customer service, streamlining transactions, and innovating computerized trading. Today, it is the nation’s largest publicly traded investment services firm with over 8 trillion dollars in client assets in 34 million client accounts. The company has expanded from its roots as a discount brokerage and provides a full-service investing and banking experience to millions of clients domestically and abroad. Mr. Schwab has been chairman of the Charles Schwab Corporation since its inception and has served as CEO from its founding until October 2008. He is also chairman of Charles Schwab Bank.
Schwab is a visionary leader and a champion of the values that Hudson Institute has promoted since 1961. Like Hudson’s founder, Herman Kahn, Schwab has the courage to question conventional wisdom and to maintain an unshakable faith in the principles that make America special and its citizens unique. He and his wife Helen, through the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, have invested more than $300 million in improving K-12 and higher education, alleviating poverty, healthcare, and serving youths with learning difficulties.