Executives: Detroit's Highest Tribute

Money, says the proverb, makes money. —Adam Smith

Automobiles' golden year showed up on the paychecks too. General Motors Chairman Frederic Garrett Donner, 60, set an alltime automotive industry record in 1962 by earning $791,475—$201,475 in salary and directors' fees, a cash bonus of $442,500 to be collected over five years to soften the tax pinch, and $147,500 in "contingent credit"—the bonus value of G.M. stock options he was granted for 1962. The mathematics might seem a little complicated to anyone less skilled in figures than Donner, but G.M. had a tax-conscious explanation: Donner theoretically would have only $109,410 left...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!