“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” ~Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York, the son of a dentist and psychiatrist. He started computer coding at a young age, building computer games and taking graduate level computer science classes. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and began attending Harvard University in 2002.
Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2003 with his Harvard classmates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes. After the completion of his sophomore year at Harvard, he dropped out and moved to Palo Alto, California to help Facebook grow. In 2007, at the age of 23, Zuckerberg became a billionaire due to the fast growing nature of Facebook. As of 2013, Zuckerberg is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, Inc. He is estimated to be worth $19 billion.
Zuckerberg has been frequently named among the 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world. Time gave him the Person of the Year distinction in 2010.
Along with his founding of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Start-up: Education, Zuckerberg signed a promise called “The Giving Pledge” in December 2010. The pledge promises that he will donate at least half of his wealth to charity over time. Melinda and Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffet started this movement in 2010, signing the promise themselves.
In 2010, a movie based on Zuckerberg’s involvement in the birth of Facebook was made titled “The Social Network.” David Fincher directed the film with actor Jesse Eisenberg portraying Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg has had a few legal troubles over the years. Divya Narendra, along with Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, sued Zuckerberg in 2005, claiming he had stolen the idea of Facebook from them after agreeing to help code their site, Harvard Connection. Even Eduardo Saverin, one of the original founders of Facebook, filed a suit against the company, which was then settled out of court.
“My goal was never to just create a company. A lot of people misinterpret that, as if I don’t care about revenue or profit or any of those things,” says Zuckerberg. “But what not being ‘just’ a company means to me is building something that actually makes a really big change in the world.”