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Mark Zuckerberg

(1984 - )

Mark Zuckerberg is an American entrepreneur best known for co-founding the social networking site Facebook. In 2016 he was named Fortune Magazine's richest Jewish person in the world.

Mark Elliot Zuckerberg was born May 14, 1984 in White Plains, New York to a Jewish family. He started programming when he was in middle school and while in high school at Philips Exeter Academy, he developed a music player named Synapse that used artificial intelligence to learn the user's listening habits. Microsoft and AOL tried to purchase the program and recruit Zuckerberg, but he decided to continue his education at Harvard University, where he joined the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi.

Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his dorm room on February 4, 2004. He enlisted the help of his roommate Dustin Moskovitz when he decided to expand the networking site to schools beyond Harvard's campus. Zuckerberg moved the company to Palo Alto, California in the summer of 2004 and established Facebook's first offices with co-founders and fellow classmates Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin and Chris Hughes. He has since not returned to Harvard to complete his undergraduate studies.

In 2010, Zuckerberg was named TIME's 2010 Person of the year. The Social Network, a movie based on Zuckerberg and his fellow Facebook founders, was released that same year.

Since 2010, TIME has named Zuckerberg among the 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the word every year as part of its annual Person of the Year distinction. In 2011, he was ranked first among the list of "Most Influential Jews in the World" by the Jerusalem Post and has since topped the list every year as of 2013.

Following the IPO of Facebook, Zuckerberg's net worth was estimated at approximately $19 billion. In December 2013, Zuckerberg announced a donation of 18 million Facebook shares - approximately $990 million in value - to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The donation was recognized as the largest charitable gift made on public record in the United States during 2013.

Zuckerberg is married to Priscilla Chan, a fellow Harvard alum whom he began dating in 2003.

Sources: Forbes;
Photo: This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Author: Raphaël Labbé.