There would be very few people on the face of earth who wouldn’t in today’s times, know what Facebook is. That’s the power of this phenomenon that Mark Zuckerberg created in 2004.
Today, he ranks among the most influential people of the 21st century. A force to reckon with when it comes to social media, bringing the world together and creating a brand value that is hard to replicate.
A genius like him could only have done the unimaginable at the age when most kids were still wondering what to do in the future. A Harvard dropout, he founded Facebook in 2004 at the age of 19.
Here are some interesting facts about him –
Zuckerberg was born on May 14, 1984 in New York. He was raised as Jewish and had his bar mitzvah when he turned 13.
Initially, the concept of Facebook was started by five friends in a Harvard dormitory, Zuckerberg being one of them.
A programming prodigy at high school, he got job offers from AOL and Microsoft, but turned them down to focus on Harvard. Later, he dropped out of college too, so that he could focus on Facebook. At the young age of just 30 years, he made enough money to then start taking home a salary of $1 a year only.
Since 2010, TIME magazine has named him among the 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world as a part of its ‘Person of the Year’ distinction.
He created a messaging software called Zucknet when he was just 12. The software alerted his dentist father of the presence of any patient in the waiting room.
While studying at Harvard, he developed a ‘hot or not’ website called FaceMash, where the user had to vote for the best-looking person from a selection of images of Harvard dorm students. Although the college shut it down for breaching privacy rights of people, he later sold it for $30,201 in 2010 on the online auction site Flippa to an unknown buyer.
During high school, Zuckerberg co-developed a music app called Synapse Media Player that could use artificial intelligence to analyze a user’s music listening habits.
He debuted on the Forbes list of world’s billionaires in 2008. At 23 and at a rank of 785, he was the youngest-ever self-made billionaire to feature on the list till Kelly Jenner overtook him in 2019.
In 2011, however, he broke into the Top 20 list of Forbes riches people in the US. That time his estimated wealth was $17.5 billion. Currently, he is the world’s eighth richest person.
In 2006, he came across a huge hurdle: creators of Harvard Connection claimed that Zuckerberg stole their idea, and insisted the software developer needed to pay for their business losses. Zuckerberg apologized later and an initial settlement of $65 million was reached between the two parties.
He also launched the Internet.org project in late August 2013. He explained that the aim of the initiative is to provide Internet access to people who are not connected to internet.
Zuckerberg suffers from red-green colour blindness and his favourite is blue – one of the reasons for the colours used in the Facebook logo.
He has a pet named Beast, who is a Hungarian Sheepdog. Interestingly, the dog has his own Facebook following at 2.6 million page ‘likes’!
In 2010, Zuckerberg was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
Zuckerberg married his long-time girlfriend Priscilla Chan in 2012 and the couple have a daughter who was born in 2015.
The couple have also decided to donate 99% of their Facebook shares to charity during their lives, in order to make the world a better place to live in.
In September 2010, he donated $100 million to save the failing Newark Public Schools system in New Jersey.
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.