Mark Zuckerberg
Photo: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg Biography

(1984–)
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Mark Zuckerberg is co-founder and CEO of the social-networking website Facebook, as well as one of the world's youngest billionaires.

Who Is Mark Zuckerberg?

Mark Zuckerberg co-founded out of his college dorm room at Harvard University. Zuckerberg left college after his sophomore year to concentrate on the site, the user base of which has grown to more than two billion people, making Zuckerberg a billionaire many times over. The birth of Facebook was portrayed in the 2010 film The Social Network.

Early Life

Zuckerberg was born on May 14, 1984, in White Plains, New York, into a comfortable, well-educated family. He was raised in the nearby village of Dobbs Ferry.

around this same time.

Zuckerberg later studied at , an exclusive preparatory school in New Hampshire. There he showed talent in fencing, becoming the captain of the school's team. He also excelled in literature, earning a diploma in classics.

Yet Zuckerberg remained fascinated by computers and continued to work on developing new programs. While still in high school, he created an early version of the music software Pandora, which he called Synapse.

Several companies—including AOL and Microsoft—expressed an interest in buying the software, and hiring the teenager before graduation. He declined the offers.

. After his sophomore year, Zuckerberg dropped out of college to devote himself to his new company, Facebook, full time.

. Instead, he focused on expanding the site, opening up his project to outside developers and adding more features.

‘Harvard Connection’ and Legal Hurdles

雷电竞娱乐Zuckerberg seemed to be going nowhere but up. However, in 2006, the business mogul faced his first big hurdle: the creators of Harvard Connection claimed that Zuckerberg stole their idea, and insisted the software developer needed to pay for their business losses.

Mark Zuckerberg Fact Card

'The Social Network' Movie

In 2010, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s movie The Social Network was released. The critically acclaimed film received eight Academy Award nominations.

Sorkin’s screenplay was based on the 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires, by writer Ben Mezrich. Mezrich was heavily criticized for his re-telling of Zuckerberg's story, which used invented scenes, re-imagined dialogue and fictional characters.

Zuckerberg objected strongly to the film's narrative, and later told a reporter at The New Yorker雷电竞娱乐 that many of the details in the film were inaccurate. For example, Zuckerberg had been dating his longtime girlfriend since 2003. He also said he was never interested in joining any of the final clubs.

"It's interesting what stuff they focused on getting right; like, every single shirt and fleece that I had in that movie is actually a shirt or fleece that I own," Zuckerberg told a reporter at a startup conference in 2010. "So there's all this stuff that they got wrong and a bunch of random details that they got right."

Yet Zuckerberg and Facebook continued to succeed, in spite of the criticism. Time magazine named him Person of the Year in 2010, and Vanity Fair placed him at the top of their New Establishment list.

Facebook IPO

In May 2012, Facebook had its initial public offering, which raised $16 billion, making it the biggest Internet IPO in history.

After the initial success of the IPO, the Facebook stock price dropped somewhat in the early days of trading, though Zuckerberg is expected to weather any ups and downs in his company's market performance.

In 2013, Facebook made the Fortune雷电竞娱乐 500 list for the first time—making Zuckerberg, at the age of 28, the youngest CEO on the list.

Fake News and Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Zuckerberg was criticized for the proliferation of fake news posts on his site leading up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In early 2018, he announced a personal challenge to develop improved methods for defending Facebook users from abuse and interference by nation-states. (Previous personal challenges began in New Year's 2009 and have included only eating meat he killed himself and learning to speak Mandarin.) 

"We won't prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools," he wrote on his Facebook page. "If we're successful this year then we'll end 2018 on a much better trajectory."

Zuckerberg came under fire again a few months later when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, had used private information from approximately 87 million Facebook profiles without the social network alerting its owners. The resulting outcry seemed to shake investors' confidence in Facebook, its shares dropping by 15 percent after the news became public.

Following a few days' silence, Zuckerberg surfaced on various outlets to explain how the company was taking steps to limit third-party developers' access to user information, and said he would be happy to testify before Congress.

On Sunday, March 25, Facebook took out full-page ads in seven British and three American newspapers, penned in the form of a personal apology from Zuckerberg. He promised the company would investigate all of its apps, and remind users which ones they can shut off. "I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time," he wrote. "I promise to do better for you."

Amid increasing calls for his resignation from investor groups, Zuckerberg traveled to Capitol Hill and met with lawmakers ahead of his two-day testimony, scheduled for April 10 and 11. The first day of hearings, with the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees, was considered a tame affair, with some senators seemingly struggling to understand the business model that powered the social media giant.

雷电竞娱乐The follow-up hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee proved far testier, as its members grilled the Facebook CEO over privacy concerns. During the day's testimony, Zuckerberg revealed that his personal information was among the data harvested by Cambridge Analytica, and suggested that legal regulation of Facebook and other social media companies was "inevitable."

Personal Wealth

The negative PR around the 2016 election and Cambridge Analytica scandal seemingly did little to slow the company's progress: Facebook saw its stock close at a record $203.23 on July 6, 2018. The surge bumped Zuckerberg past Berkshire Hathaway chief Warren Buffett to become the world's third-richest person, behind fellow tech titans Jeff Bezos雷电竞娱乐 and Bill Gates.

Any gains were wiped out when Facebook shares dropped a staggering 19 percent on July 26, following an earnings report that revealed a failure to meet revenue expectations and slowing user growth. Nearly $16 billion of Zuckerberg's personal fortune was erased in one day.

The stock rebounded, and Zuckerberg remains one of the world's wealthiest people. In 2019, Forbes ranked Zuckerberg at No. 8 on its ‘Billionaires’ list—behind Microsoft founder Bill Gates (No. 2) and ahead of Google co-founders Larry Page (No. 10) and Sergey Brin (No. 14). The magazine estimated his net worth to be about $62.3 billion at the time.

Libra

In June 2019, Facebook announced it was getting into the cryptocurrency business with the planned launch of Libra in 2020. Along with developing the blockchain technology to power its financial infrastructure, Facebook established a Switzerland-based oversight entity called the Libra Association, comprised of tech giants like Spotify and venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz.

雷电竞娱乐 The news again put Zuckerberg in the crosshairs of Congress, which summoned the CEO to testify before the House Financial Service Committee in October. Despite providing assurances that Facebook would withdraw from the Libra Association if the project failed to garner approval from regulators, Zuckerberg faced pointed questioning from skeptical lawmakers who cited the Cambridge Analytica fiasco and other past transgressions.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Wife

Zuckerberg has been married to Priscilla Chan, a Chinese-American medical student he met at Harvard, since 2012. The longtime couple tied the knot one day after Facebook’s IPO.

About 100 people gathered at the couple's Palo Alto, California home for the ceremony. The guests thought they were there to celebrate Chan's graduation from medical school, but instead they witnessed Zuckerberg and Chan exchange vows.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Daughters

雷电竞娱乐Zuckerberg has two daughters, Max, born on November 30, 2015, and August, born on August 28, 2017.

The couple announced they were expecting both of their children on Facebook. When Zuckerberg welcomed Max, he announced he would be taking two months of paternity leave to spend with his family.

Mark Zuckerberg Photo

Mark Zuckerberg arrives to receive the Axel Springer Award in Berlin on February 25, 2016. 

Mark Zuckerberg’s Donations and Philanthropic Causes

Since amassing his sizeable fortune, Zuckerberg has used his millions to fund a variety of philanthropic causes. The most notable examples came in September 2010, when he donated $100 million to save the failing Newark Public Schools system in New Jersey.

Then, in December 2010, Zuckerberg signed the "Giving Pledge", promising to donate at least 50 percent of his wealth to charity over the course of his lifetime. Other Giving Pledge members include Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and George Lucas雷电竞娱乐. After his donation, Zuckerberg called on other young, wealthy entrepreneurs to follow suit.

雷电竞娱乐"With a generation of younger folks who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts," he said.

In November 2015, Zuckerberg and his wife also pledged in an to their daughter that they would give 99 percent of their Facebook shares to charity.

(CZI), the company into which they put their Facebook shares, would invest at least $3 billion into scientific research over the next decade to help “cure, prevent and manage all diseases in our children's lifetime." Renowned neuroscientist Cori Bargmann of , was named the president of science at CZI.

They also announced the founding of , a San Francisco-based independent research center that will bring together engineers, computer scientists, biologists, chemists and others in the scientific community. A partnership between , the , and the , Biohub will receive initial funding of $600 million over 10 years.

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