We report the magnetic behavior, relaxometry, phantom magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and near-infrared (NIR) photoluminescence spectroscopy of gadolinium (Gd) catalyzed single-walled carbon nanotubes (Gd-SWCNTs). Gd-SWCNTs are paramagnetic with an effective magnetic moment of 7.29 μB . Gd-SWCNT solutions show high r1 and r2 relaxivities at very low (0.01 MHz) to clinically relevant (61 MHz) magnetic fields (r1 ≥ 130 mM(-1) s(-1), r2 ≥ 160 mM(-1) s(-1)). Analysis of nuclear magnetic resonance dispersion profiles using Solomon, Bloembergen, and Morgan equations suggests that multiple structural and dynamic parameters such as rotational correlation time [Formula: see text], rate of water exchange [Formula: see text], and the number of fast-exchanging water molecules within the inner sphere q may be responsible for the increase in r1 and r2 relaxivity. The T1 weighted MRI signal intensity (gradient echo sequence; repetition time (TR) = 66 ms, echo time (TE) = 3 ms, flop angle = 108°) of Gd-SWCNT phantom solution is 14 times greater than the Gd-based clinical MRI contrast agent Magnevist. Additionally, these nanotubes exhibit near infrared fluorescence with distinct E11 transitions of several semiconducting SWCNTs. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Gd-SWCNTs have potential as a novel, highly efficacious, multimodal MRI-NIR optical imaging contrast agent.