Mark Zuckerberg biography, Mark Zuckerberg achievements
Mark Zuckerberg is a billionaire internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is best known to the world as the co-founder, CEO, and chairman of the well renowned social-networking website Facebook. The site was initially launched to selected few college campuses, which eventually expanded beyond colleges, making Zuckerberg the world’s youngest self-made billionaire at the age of 23, In 2007, and reaching one billion users by 2012. Zuckerberg was at a net worth of an estimated $88.2 billion, and he has been listed as the 4th richest person in the world by Forbes, as of July 2020.
Mark Zuckerberg – Early life and education
Zuckerberg’s full name is Mark Elliot Zuckerberg. He was born on 14th May of 1984, in White Plains, New York. He was raised in a comfortable, well-educated family in the nearby village of Dobbs Ferry. His father, Edward Zuckerberg, was a dentist and ran a dental practice attached to the family’s home. His mother, Karen, had worked as a psychiatrist before the birth of the couple’s four children — Mark, Randi, Donna, and Arielle.
Zuckerberg developed an interest in using computer and writing software when he was in middle school. When he was about 12 years of age, he built a program named “Zucknet” which enabled all the computers between the house and his father’s dental office to communicate with each other, so that the receptionist could inform him of a new patient without having to move across the room. Also, he used to create computer games for his friends for fun.
Zuckerberg’s parents were supportive of his pursuits; they even hired a software developer David Newman as his private tutor. He was an astonishingly fast learner; he took graduate courses at Mercy College while still in high school.
Later he studied at Phillips Exeter Academy, where he showed talent in fencing, becoming the captain of the prep school’s team. He also showed excellent performance in literature and earned a classics diploma.
Furthermore, during his high school, he worked for a company named Intelligent Media Group to build a music player called ‘Synapse,’ which implemented machine learning to learn the user’s listening habits. Several companies, including AOL and Microsoft, showed their interest in buying the product and hiring him even before graduation, which he declined.
Mark Zuckerberg – College life
After graduating from Exeter in 2002, he got himself enrolled at Harvard University, studying Computer Science and Psychology. By the time he was in his sophomore year, he had achieved a “reputation as a programming prodigy.” During this time, on-campus, he wrote a program called ‘CourseMatch,’ which allowed users to make decisions regarding class selection based on the choices of other students and help them form study groups.
He also created ‘Facemash,’ a program to compare and vote for two students on campus based on how attractive they are, judging by their pictures. The program became an overnight hit among the students, but later it was taken down by the school administration after it was classified inappropriate.
Based on the popularity that he had gained from his previous projects, three of his fellow students- Divya Narendra, twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, offered him a project to work on. It was a project for a social networking site called ‘Harvard Connection.’ The idea was to create a dating site for the Harvard elite, using data from Harvard’s student networks. To which, Zuckerberg agreed to work on, but later dropped out and used the idea to build his social networking site, which he called ‘The Facebook.’
Founding of Facebook
With this idea, Zuckerberg and his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin created their website ‘The Facebook,’ a site that enabled users to create their profiles, upload photos, and communicate with other users. Until June 2004, the site was run out of a dorm room at Harvard.
Seeing huge potential in the site and wanting to expand it further, Zuckerberg dropped out of college and moved the company to California. Facebook had more than 1 million users by the end of 2004.
In 2005, Zuckerberg’s enterprise got a massive boost from Accel Partners’ venture capital firm. Accel invested a whopping $12.7 million investment into the network, which at the time was open only to Ivy League college students.
Later the site was made accessible to other colleges and schools, which pushed the Facebook membership to more than 5.5 million users by the end of 2005. The site began attracting the interest of the advertisers. Though Zuckerberg did not want to sell out, he turned down offers from companies like Yahoo! and MTV Networks and focused on expanding the site, adding more features.
Facebook had its initial public offering In May 2012, which raised $16 billion, making it the most prominent Internet IPO in history. In 2013, Facebook made the Fortune 500 list for the first time—making Zuckerberg, the youngest CEO on the list, at the age of 28.
Mark Zuckerberg – Lifestyle
Despite being the CEO and co-founder of one of the largest internet companies globally, Zuckerberg receives a one-dollar salary as the CEO. Zuckerberg was named one of the “Top 10 Business Visionaries Creating Value for the World” by Business Insider along with Elon Musk (CEO Tesla Motors, SpaceX) and Sal Khan (Founder Khan Academy), due to the fact that he and his wife “pledged to give away 99% of their wealth” — which is estimated at $55.0 billion.
Zuckerberg has been married to Priscilla Chan, a Chinese-American medical student who he had met at Harvard. The couple tied the knot one day after Facebook’s IPO in 2012. They have been blessed with two daughters. The billionaire CEO likes to maintain his privacy and spends quality time with family.
Mark Zuckerberg: Philanthropy
Since accumulating his sizeable fortune, Zuckerberg has invested his earnings in funding a variety of philanthropic causes. One of the most notable examples was in September 2010, when he donated $100 million to save the failing Newark Public Schools system in New Jersey.
Then, in December 2010, Zuckerberg, along with Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and George Lucas, signed the ‘Giving Pledge,’ promising to donate at least 50% of their wealth to charity over the course of time.
Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla donated US$25 million to combat the Ebola Virus Disease, specifically the West African Ebola virus epidemic, in 2014. In September 2016, Zuckerberg and Chan announced that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), into which they put their Facebook shares, would invest more than $3 billion into scientific and medical research. In 2020, Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, CZI, has allocated a total of $56 million to fight the epidemic.
Mark Zuckerberg and his story give inspiration to all the young, budding developers who dream of bringing change in the world. The story, which began with building small games for kids just for fun and lead to the creation of the largest social networking site in the world that, connects millions of people. Zuckerberg’s success story only demonstrates how taking risks, doing something different out of the ordinary, and not being afraid of trying something new, can lead a man towards an extraordinary life.
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