Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (/ˈzʌkərbɜːrɡ/; born May 14, 1984) is an
American computer programmer and
Internet entrepreneur. He is a
co-founder of Facebook, and is currently its chairman and chief
executive officer. His net worth is estimated to be US$62.2
billion as of March 25, 2018.
Facebook from his
Harvard University dormitory
room on February 4, 2004 with college roommates and fellow Harvard
students Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris
Hughes. The group then introduced
Facebook to other college
Facebook expanded rapidly, reaching one billion users by
2012. During this time, Zuckerberg became involved in various legal
disputes brought by his friends and cofounders, who claimed they were
due a share of the company based upon their involvement during its
Since 2010, Time magazine has named Zuckerberg among the 100
wealthiest and most influential people in the world as a part of its
Person of the Year award. In December 2016, Zuckerberg was
ranked 10th on
Forbes list of The World's Most Powerful People.
1 Early life
2 Software developer
2.1 Early years
2.2 College years
3.3 Platform, Beacon, and Connect
3.5 Legal controversies
3.5.2 Saverin lawsuit
Pakistan criminal investigation
3.5.4 Paul Ceglia
3.5.5 Palestinian terror attacks
3.5.6 Hawaiian land ownership
4 Depictions in media
4.1 The Social Network
4.1.1 Disputed accuracy
4.2 Other depictions
7 Personal life
8 See also
10 External links
Mark Zuckerberg's career in 90 seconds, The Daily Telegraph
Zuckerberg was born in 1984 in White Plains, New York. He is the
son of Karen (née Kempner), a psychiatrist, and Edward Zuckerberg, a
dentist. His ancestors came from Germany, Austria and Poland.
He and his three sisters, Randi, Donna, and Arielle, were brought up
in Dobbs Ferry, New York, a small Westchester County village about 21
miles north of Midtown Manhattan. Zuckerberg was raised Jewish and
Bar Mitzvah when he turned 13.
At Ardsley High School, Zuckerberg excelled in classes. He transferred
to the exclusive private school Phillips Exeter Academy, in New
Hampshire, in his junior year, where he won prizes in science (math,
astronomy, and physics) and classical studies. In his youth, he also
attended the Johns Hopkins
Center for Talented Youth
Center for Talented Youth summer camp. On
his college application, Zuckerberg stated that he could read and
write French, Hebrew, Latin, and ancient Greek. He was captain of the
Zuckerberg began using computers and writing software in middle
school. His father taught him
BASIC Programming in the 1990s,
and later hired software developer David Newman to tutor him
privately. Zuckerberg took a graduate course in the subject at Mercy
College near his home while still in high school. In one program,
since his father's dental practice was operated from their home, he
built a software program he called "ZuckNet" that allowed all the
computers between the house and dental office to communicate with each
other. It is considered a "primitive" version of AOL's Instant
Messenger, which came out the following year.
According to writer Jose Antonio Vargas, "some kids played computer
games. Mark created them." Zuckerberg himself recalls this period: "I
had a bunch of friends who were artists. They'd come over, draw stuff,
and I'd build a game out of it." However, notes Vargas, Zuckerberg was
not a typical "geek-klutz", as he later became captain of his prep
school fencing team and earned a classics diploma.
Sean Parker, a close friend, notes that Zuckerberg was "really into
Greek odysseys and all that stuff", recalling how he once quoted lines
from the Roman epic poem Aeneid, by Virgil, during a
During Zuckerberg's high school years, he worked under the company
name Intelligent Media Group to build a music player called the
Synapse Media Player. The device used machine learning to learn the
user's listening habits, which was posted to Slashdot and received
a rating of 3 out of 5 from PC Magazine.
Vargas noted that by the time Zuckerberg began classes at Harvard, he
had already achieved a "reputation as a programming prodigy". He
studied psychology and computer science and belonged to Alpha Epsilon
Pi and Kirkland House. In his sophomore year, he wrote a
program that he called CourseMatch, which allowed users to make class
selection decisions based on the choices of other students and also to
help them form study groups. A short time later, he created a
different program he initially called Facemash that let students
select the best looking person from a choice of photos. According to
Arie Hasit, Zuckerberg's roommate at the time, "he built the site for
fun". Hasit explains:
We had books called Face Books, which included the names and pictures
of everyone who lived in the student dorms. At first, he built a site
and placed two pictures, or pictures of two males and two females.
Visitors to the site had to choose who was "hotter" and according to
the votes there would be a ranking.
The site went up over a weekend, but by Monday morning, the college
shut it down, because its popularity had overwhelmed one of Harvard's
network switches and prevented students from accessing the Internet.
In addition, many students complained that their photos were being
used without permission. Zuckerberg apologized publicly, and the
student paper ran articles stating that his site was "completely
The following semester, in January 2004, Zuckerberg began writing code
for a new Web site. On February 4, 2004, Zuckerberg launched
"Thefacebook", originally located at thefacebook.com.
Six days after the site launched, three Harvard seniors, Cameron
Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, accused Zuckerberg
of intentionally misleading them into believing he would help them
build a social network called HarvardConnection.com, while he was
instead using their ideas to build a competing product. The three
complained to The Harvard Crimson, and the newspaper began an
investigation in response.
Following the official launch of the
Facebook social media platform,
the three filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg that resulted in a
settlement. The agreed settlement was for 1.2 million Facebook
shares that were worth US$300 million at Facebook's IPO.
Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard in his sophomore year in order to
complete his project. In January 2014, he recalled:
I remember really vividly, you know, having pizza with my friends a
day or two after—I opened up the first version of
Facebook at the
time I thought, "You know, someone needs to build a service like this
for the world." But I just never thought that we'd be the ones to help
do it. And I think a lot of what it comes down to is we just cared
On May 28, 2017, Zuckerberg received an honorary degree from
Zuckerberg listening to President
Barack Obama before a private
meeting where Obama dined with technology business leaders in
Woodside, California, February 17, 2011.
Facebook and History of Facebook
On February 4, 2004, Zuckerberg launched
Facebook from his Harvard
dormitory room. An earlier inspiration for
Facebook may have
come from Phillips Exeter Academy, the prep school from which
Zuckerberg graduated in 2002. It published its own student directory,
"The Photo Address Book", which students referred to as "The
Facebook". Such photo directories were an important part of the
student social experience at many private schools. With them, students
were able to list attributes such as their class years, their friends,
and their telephone numbers.
Once at college, Zuckerberg's
Facebook started off as just a "Harvard
thing" until Zuckerberg decided to spread it to other schools,
enlisting the help of roommate Dustin Moskovitz. They began with
Columbia University, New York University, Stanford, Dartmouth,
Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, Brown, and Yale. Samyr Laine,
a triple jumper representing
Haiti at the 2012 Summer Olympics, shared
a room with Zuckerberg during Facebook's founding. "Mark was clearly
on to great things," said Laine, who was Facebook's fourteenth
Zuckerberg, Moskovitz and some friends moved to Palo Alto, California
Silicon Valley where they leased a small house that served as an
office. Over the summer, Zuckerberg met Peter Thiel, who invested in
the company. They got their first office in mid-2004. According to
Zuckerberg, the group planned to return to Harvard, but eventually
decided to remain in California. They had already turned down
offers by major corporations to buy the company. In an interview in
2007, Zuckerberg explained his reasoning: "It's not because of the
amount of money. For me and my colleagues, the most important thing is
that we create an open information flow for people. Having media
corporations owned by conglomerates is just not an attractive idea to
He restated these goals to Wired magazine in 2010: "The thing I really
care about is the mission, making the world open." Earlier, in
April 2009, Zuckerberg sought the advice of former
Netscape CFO Peter
Currie about financing strategies for Facebook. On July 21, 2010,
Zuckerberg reported that the company reached the 500 million-user
mark. When asked whether
Facebook could earn more income from
advertising as a result of its phenomenal growth, he explained:
I guess we could ... If you look at how much of our page is taken
up with ads compared to the average search query. The average for us
is a little less than 10 percent of the pages and the average for
search is about 20 percent taken up with ads ... That's the
simplest thing we could do. But we aren't like that. We make enough
money. Right, I mean, we are keeping things running; we are growing at
the rate we want to.
In 2010, Steven Levy, who wrote the 1984 book Hackers: Heroes of the
Computer Revolution, wrote that Zuckerberg "clearly thinks of himself
as a hacker". Zuckerberg said that "it's OK to break things" "to make
Facebook instituted "hackathons" held every six
to eight weeks where participants would have one night to conceive of
and complete a project. The company provided music, food, and beer
at the hackathons, and many
Facebook staff members, including
Zuckerberg, regularly attended. "The idea is that you can build
something really good in a night", Zuckerberg told Levy. "And that's
part of the personality of
Facebook now ... It's definitely very
core to my personality."
Vanity Fair magazine named Zuckerberg number 1 on its 2010 list of the
Top 100 "most influential people of the Information Age".
Zuckerberg ranked number 23 on the Vanity Fair 100 list in 2009.
In 2010, Zuckerberg was chosen as number 16 in New Statesman's annual
survey of the world's 50 most influential figures.
In a 2011 interview with
PBS shortly after the death of Steve Jobs,
Zuckerberg said that Jobs had advised him on how to create a
management team at
Facebook that was "focused on building as high
quality and good things as you are".
Zuckerberg and Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev during their meeting
at the Russian leader's residence outside Moscow, October 1, 2012
On October 1, 2012, Zuckerberg visited Russian Prime Minister Dmitry
Moscow to stimulate social media innovation in
to boost Facebook's position in the Russian market. Russia's
communications minister tweeted that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
urged the social media giant's founder to abandon plans to lure away
Russian programmers and instead consider opening a research center in
Moscow. In 2012,
Facebook had roughly 9 million users in Russia, while
domestic clone VK had around 34 million. Rebecca Van Dyck,
Facebook's head of consumer marketing, claimed that 85 million
Facebook users were exposed to the first day of the Home
promotional campaign on April 6, 2013.
On August 19, 2013,
The Washington Post
The Washington Post reported that Zuckerberg's
Facebook profile was hacked by an unemployed web developer.
At the 2013
TechCrunch Disrupt conference, held in September,
Zuckerberg stated that he is working towards registering the 5 billion
humans who were not connected to the
Internet as of the conference on
Facebook. Zuckerberg then explained that this is intertwined with the
aim of the Internet.org project, whereby Facebook, with the support of
other technology companies, seeks to increase the number of people
connected to the internet.
Zuckerberg was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Mobile World Congress
(MWC), held in Barcelona, Spain, in March 2014, which was attended by
75,000 delegates. Various media sources highlighted the connection
between Facebook's focus on mobile technology and Zuckerberg's speech,
claiming that mobile represents the future of the company.
Zuckerberg's speech expands upon the goal that he raised at the
TechCrunch conference in September 2013, whereby he is working towards
Internet coverage into developing countries.
Alongside other American technology figures like
Jeff Bezos and Tim
Cook, Zuckerberg hosted visiting Chinese politician Lu Wei, known as
Internet czar" for his influence in the enforcement of China's
online policy, at Facebook's headquarters on December 8, 2014. The
meeting occurred after Zuckerberg participated in a Q&A session at
Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, on October 23, 2014, where he
attempted to converse in Mandarin Chinese; although
Facebook is banned
in China, Zuckerberg is highly regarded among the people and was at
the university to help fuel the nation's burgeoning entrepreneur
Zuckerberg in Beijing, People's Republic of China, 2015
Zuckerberg fielded questions during a live Q&A session at the
company's headquarters in Menlo Park on December 11, 2014. The founder
and CEO explained that he does not believe
Facebook is a waste of
time, because it facilitates social engagement, and participating in a
public session was so that he could "learn how to better serve the
Zuckerberg receives a one-dollar salary as CEO of Facebook. In June
Business Insider named Zuckerberg one of the "Top 10 Business
Visionaries Creating Value for the World" along with
Elon Musk and Sal
Khan, due to the fact that he and his wife "pledged to give away 99%
of their wealth — which is estimated at over $52.1 billion."
Main article: Wirehog
A month after Zuckerberg launched
Facebook in February 2004, i2hub,
another campus-only service, created by Wayne Chang, was launched.
i2hub focused on peer-to-peer file sharing. At the time, both i2hub
Facebook were gaining the attention of the press and growing
rapidly in users and publicity. In August 2004, Zuckerberg, Andrew
McCollum, Adam D'Angelo, and
Sean Parker launched a competing
peer-to-peer file sharing service called Wirehog, a precursor to
Facebook Platform applications.
Platform, Beacon, and Connect
Zuckerberg at the
World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (January
On May 24, 2007, Zuckerberg announced
Facebook Platform, a development
platform for programmers to create social applications within
Facebook. Within weeks, many applications had been built and some
already had millions of users. It grew to more than 800,000 developers
around the world building applications for
On November 6, 2007, Zuckerberg announced Beacon, a social advertising
system that enabled people to share information with their Facebook
friends based on their browsing activities on other sites. For
example, eBay sellers could let friends know automatically what they
have for sale via the
Facebook news feed as they listed items for
sale. The program came under scrutiny because of privacy concerns from
groups and individual users. Zuckerberg and
Facebook failed to respond
to the concerns quickly, and on December 5, 2007, Zuckerberg wrote a
blog post on Facebook, taking responsibility for the concerns
about Beacon and offering an easier way for users to opt out of the
In 2007, Zuckerberg was added to MIT Technology Review's
TR35 list as
one of the top 35 innovators in the world under the age of 35. On
July 23, 2008, Zuckerberg announced
Facebook Connect, a version of
Facebook Platform for users.
In a public
Facebook post, Zuckerberg launched the Internet.org
project in late August 2013. He explained that the primary aim of the
initiative is to provide
Internet access to the five billion people
who are not connected as of the launch date. Using a three-tier
strategy, Internet.org will also create new jobs and open up new
markets, according to Zuckerberg. He stated in his post:
The world economy is going through a massive transition right now. The
knowledge economy is the future. By bringing everyone online, we'll
not only improve billions of lives, but we'll also improve our own as
we benefit from the ideas and productivity they contribute to the
world. Giving everyone the opportunity to connect is the foundation
for enabling the knowledge economy. It is not the only thing we need
to do, but it's a fundamental and necessary step.
To stay proven on the efforts of bringing in the concept of net
neutrality, Zuckerberg met Narendra Modi,
Satya Nadella and Sundar
Pichai at Silicon Valley, to discuss on how to effectively establish
affordable internet access to the less developed countries. As a
token of initiation, he changed his
Facebook profile picture to extend
his support to the
Digital India to help the rural communities to stay
connected to the internet.
Main article: Criticism of Facebook
Main article: ConnectU
Harvard students Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya
Narendra accused Zuckerberg of intentionally making them believe he
would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com
(later called ConnectU). They filed a lawsuit in 2004, but it was
dismissed on a technicality on March 28, 2007. It was refiled soon
thereafter in federal court in Boston.
Facebook countersued in regards
to Social Butterfly, a project put out by The Winklevoss Chang Group,
an alleged partnership between
ConnectU and i2hub. On June 25, 2008,
the case settled and
Facebook agreed to transfer over 1.2 million
common shares and pay $20 million in cash.
In November 2007, confidential court documents were posted on the
website of 02138, a magazine that catered to Harvard alumni. They
included Zuckerberg's Social Security number, his parents' home
address, and his girlfriend's address.
Facebook filed to have the
documents removed, but the judge ruled in favor of 02138.
A lawsuit filed by
Eduardo Saverin against
Facebook and Zuckerberg was
settled out of court. Though terms of the settlement were sealed, the
company affirmed Saverin's title as co-founder of Facebook. Saverin
signed a non-disclosure contract after the settlement.
Pakistan criminal investigation
In June 2010, Pakistani Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Azhar
Sidiqque launched a criminal investigation into Zuckerberg and
Dustin Moskovitz and
Chris Hughes after a "Draw
Muhammad" contest was hosted on Facebook. The investigation named the
anonymous German woman who created the contest. Sidiqque asked the
country's police to contact
Interpol to have Zuckerberg and the three
others arrested for blasphemy. On May 19, 2010, Facebook's website was
temporarily blocked in
Facebook removed the contest
from its website at the end of May. Sidiqque also asked its UN
representative to raise the issue with the United Nations General
Main article: Paul Ceglia
In June 2010, Paul Ceglia, the owner of a wood pellet fuel company in
Allegany County, upstate New York, filed suit against Zuckerberg,
claiming 84 percent ownership of
Facebook and seeking monetary
damages. According to Ceglia, he and Zuckerberg signed a contract on
April 28, 2003, that an initial fee of $1,000 entitled Ceglia to 50%
of the website's revenue, as well as an additional 1% interest in the
business per day after January 1, 2004, until website completion.
Zuckerberg was developing other projects at the time, among which was
Facemash, the predecessor of Facebook, but did not register the domain
name thefacebook.com until January 1, 2004.
dismissed the lawsuit as "completely frivolous".
Barry Schnitt told a reporter that Ceglia's counsel had unsuccessfully
sought an out-of-court settlement.
On October 26, 2012, federal authorities arrested Ceglia, charging him
with mail and wire fraud and of "tampering with, destroying and
fabricating evidence in a scheme to defraud the
Facebook founder of
billions of dollars." Ceglia is accused of fabricating emails to make
it appear that he and Zuckerberg discussed details about an early
version of Facebook, although after examining their emails,
investigators found there was no mention of
Facebook in them. Some
law firms withdrew from the case before it was initiated and others
after Ceglia's arrest.
Palestinian terror attacks
On July 2, 2016, Israeli cabinet minister
Gilad Erdan accused
Zuckerberg of having some responsibility for deadly attacks by
Palestinians against Israelis. According to him, the social
network was not doing enough to ban posts to its platform that incite
violence against Israelis. "Some of the victims' blood is on
Zuckerberg's hands", Erdan said.
Hawaiian land ownership
In January 2017, Zuckerberg filed eight "quiet title and partition"
lawsuits against hundreds of native Hawaiians to get them to sell
their land to him. This land is contained within the 700 acres of land
in the Hawaiian island of
Kauai that Zuckerberg had purchased in 2014.
When he learned that Hawaiian land ownership law differs from that of
the other 49 states, he dropped the lawsuits.
Depictions in media
The Social Network
Main article: The Social Network
A movie based on Zuckerberg and the founding years of Facebook, The
Social Network was released on October 1, 2010, starring Jesse
Eisenberg as Zuckerberg. After Zuckerberg was told about the film, he
responded, "I just wished that nobody made a movie of me while I was
still alive." Also, after the film's script was leaked on the
Internet and it was apparent that the film would not portray
Zuckerberg in a wholly positive light, he stated that he wanted to
establish himself as a "good guy". The film is based on the book
The Accidental Billionaires
The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, which the book's publicist
once described as "big juicy fun" rather than "reportage". The
Aaron Sorkin told New York magazine, "I don't want
my fidelity to be the truth; I want it to be storytelling", adding,
"What is the big deal about accuracy purely for accuracy's sake, and
can we not have the true be the enemy of the good?"
Upon winning the
Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award for Best Picture on January 16,
Scott Rudin thanked
Facebook and Zuckerberg "for his
willingness to allow us to use his life and work as a metaphor through
which to tell a story about communication and the way we relate to
each other.” Sorkin, who won for Best Screenplay, retracted some
of the impressions given in his script:
"I wanted to say to
Mark Zuckerberg tonight, if you're watching,
Rooney Mara's character makes a prediction at the beginning of the
movie. She was wrong. You turned out to be a great entrepreneur, a
visionary, and an incredible altruist."
On January 29, 2011, Zuckerberg made a surprise guest appearance on
Saturday Night Live, which was being hosted by Jesse Eisenberg. They
both said it was the first time they ever met. Eisenberg asked
Zuckerberg, who had been critical of his portrayal by the film, what
he thought of the movie. Zuckerberg replied, "It was interesting."
In a subsequent interview about their meeting, Eisenberg explains that
he was "nervous to meet him, because I had spent now, a year and a
half thinking about him ..." He adds, "Mark has been so gracious
about something that’s really so uncomfortable ... The fact
that he would do SNL and make fun of the situation is so sweet and so
generous. It’s the best possible way to handle something that, I
think, could otherwise be very uncomfortable."
Jeff Jarvis, author of the book Public Parts, interviewed Zuckerberg
and believes Sorkin made up too much of the story. He states, "That's
what the internet is accused of doing, making stuff up, not caring
about the facts."
According to David Kirkpatrick, former technology editor at Fortune
magazine and author of The
Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the
Company That Is Connecting the World, (2011), "the film is only
"40% true ... he is not snide and sarcastic in a cruel way, the
way Zuckerberg is played in the movie." He says that "a lot of the
factual incidents are accurate, but many are distorted and the overall
impression is false", and concludes that primarily "his motivations
were to try and come up with a new way to share information on the
Although the film portrays Zuckerberg's creation of
Facebook in order
to elevate his stature after not getting into any of the elite final
clubs at Harvard, Zuckerberg said he had no interest in joining the
clubs. Kirkpatrick agrees that the impression implied by the film
is "false". Karel Baloun, a former senior engineer at Facebook, notes
that the "image of Zuckerberg as a socially inept nerd is
overstated ... It is fiction ..." He likewise dismisses the
film's assertion that he "would deliberately betray a friend".
Zuckerberg voiced himself on an episode of
The Simpsons titled "Loan-a
Lisa", which first aired on October 3, 2010. In the episode, Lisa
Simpson and her friend Nelson encounter Zuckerberg at an
entrepreneurs' convention. Zuckerberg tells Lisa that she does not
need to graduate from college to be wildly successful, referencing
Bill Gates and
Richard Branson as examples.
On October 9, 2010,
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live lampooned Zuckerberg and
Andy Samberg played Zuckerberg. The real Zuckerberg was
reported to have been amused: "I thought this was funny."
Stephen Colbert awarded a "Medal of Fear" to Zuckerberg at the Rally
to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on October 30, 2010, "because he values
his privacy much more than he values yours".
Zuckerberg appears in the climax of the documentary film Terms and
Conditions May Apply.
Zuckerberg was parodied in the South Park' episode "Franchise
See also: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Chan and Zuckerberg in Prague (2013)
Zuckerberg donated an undisclosed amount to Diaspora, an open-source
personal Web server that implements a distributed social networking
service. He called it a "cool idea".
Zuckerberg founded the Start-up: Education foundation. On
September 22, 2010, it was reported that Zuckerberg had donated $100
million to Newark Public Schools, the public school system of Newark,
New Jersey. Critics noted the timing of the donation as
being close to the release of The Social Network, which painted a
somewhat negative portrait of Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg responded to
the criticism, saying, "The thing that I was most sensitive about with
the movie timing was, I didn't want the press about The Social Network
movie to get conflated with the Newark project. I was thinking about
doing this anonymously just so that the two things could be kept
separate." Newark Mayor
Cory Booker stated that he and New Jersey
Chris Christie had to convince Zuckerberg's team not to make
the donation anonymously. The money was largely wasted, according
to journalist Dale Russakoff.
On December 9, 2010, Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and investor Warren
Buffett signed "The Giving Pledge", in which they promised to donate
to charity at least half of their wealth over the course of time, and
invited others among the wealthy to donate 50 percent or more of their
wealth to charity.
In December 2012, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced
that over the course of their lives they would give the majority of
their wealth to "advancing human potential and promoting equality" in
the spirit of The Giving Pledge. On December 1, 2015, they
announced they would eventually give 99 percent of their Facebook
shares (worth about US$45 billion at the time) to the Chan Zuckerberg
On December 19, 2013, Zuckerberg announced a donation of 18 million
Facebook shares to the
Silicon Valley Community Foundation, to be
executed by the end of the month—based on Facebook's valuation as of
then, the shares totaled $990 million in value. On December 31, 2013,
the donation was recognized as the largest charitable gift on public
record for 2013.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy placed Zuckerberg
and his wife at the top of the magazine's annual list of 50 most
generous Americans for 2013, having donated roughly $1 billion to
Zuckerberg, Kate Roberts and Jimmy Wales
In October 2014, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan donated US$25
million to combat the Ebola virus disease, specifically the West
African Ebola virus epidemic. in 2016, the Chan Zuckerberg
Initiative announced that it would give $600 million to Biohub a
location in San Francisco's Mission Bay District near the University
of California, San Francisco, to allow for easy interaction and
collaboration between scientists at UCSF; University of California,
Berkeley; Stanford University.
On December 1, 2015, Zuckerberg and Chan announced the birth of their
first daughter Max, and in an open letter to Max, they pledged to
donate 99 percent of their
Facebook shares, then valued at US$45
billion, to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, their new organization
that will focus on health and education. The donation will not be
given immediately, but over the course of their lives.
However, instead of forming a charitable corporation to donate the
value of the stock to, as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Larry Page,
Sergey Brin and other tech billionaires have done, Zuckerberg and Chan
chose to use the structure of a limited liability company. This has
drawn criticism from a number of journalists.
Chan and Zuckerberg also signed The Giving Pledge. On August 28,
2017, the couple announced the birth of their second daughter.
In 2002, Zuckerberg registered to vote in Westchester County, New
York, where he grew up, but did not cast a ballot until November 2008.
Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Spokeswoman, Elma Rosas, told
Bloomberg that Zuckerberg is listed as "no preference" on voter rolls,
and he voted in at least two of the past three general elections, in
2008 and 2012.
Zuckerberg and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, 2016
Zuckerberg has never revealed his own political views: some consider
him a conservative, while others consider him liberal.
On February 13, 2013, Zuckerberg hosted his first ever fundraising
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Zuckerberg's particular
interest on this occasion was education reform, and Christie's
education reform work focused on teachers unions and the expansion of
charter schools. Later that year, Zuckerberg hosted a
campaign fundraiser for Newark mayor Cory Booker, who was running in
New Jersey special Senate election. In September 2010,
with the support of Governor Chris Christie, Booker obtained a US$100
million pledge from Zuckerberg to Newark Public Schools. In
December 2012, Zuckerberg donated 18 million shares to the Silicon
Valley Community Foundation, a community organization that includes
education in its list of grant-making areas.
On April 11, 2013, Zuckerberg led the launch of a 501(c)(4) lobbying
group called FWD.us. The founders and contributors to the group were
Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors, and its
president was Joe Green, a close friend of
Zuckerberg. The goals of the group include
immigration reform, improving the state of education in the United
States, and enabling more technological breakthroughs that benefit the
public, yet it has also been criticized for financing ads
advocating a variety of oil and gas development initiatives, including
drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Keystone XL
pipeline. In 2013, numerous liberal and progressive groups, such
as The League of Conservation Voters, MoveOn.org, the Sierra Club,
Democracy for America, CREDO, Daily Kos, 350.org, and Presente and
Progressives United agreed to either pull their
Facebook ad buys or
Facebook ads for at least two weeks, in protest of Zuckerberg
ads funded by
FWD.us that were in support of oil drilling and the
Keystone XL pipeline, and in opposition to Obamacare among Republican
United States senators who back immigration reform.[clarification
A media report on June 20, 2013 revealed that Zuckerberg actively
Facebook users on his own profile page after the online
publication of a
FWD.us video. In response to a claim that the FWD.us
organization is "just about tech wanting to hire more people", the
Internet entrepreneur replied: "The bigger problem we’re trying to
address is ensuring the 11 million undocumented folks living in this
country now and similar folks in the future are treated fairly."
In June 2013, Zuckerberg joined
Facebook employees in a company float
as part of the annual San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender Pride Celebration. The company first participated in the
event in 2011, with 70 employees, and this number increased to 700 for
the 2013 march. The 2013 pride celebration was especially significant,
as it followed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that deemed the Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.
Zuckerberg with Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner,
When questioned about the mid-2013 PRISM scandal at the TechCrunch
Disrupt conference in September 2013, Zuckerberg stated that the U.S.
government "blew it." He further explained that the government
performed poorly in regard to the protection of the freedoms of its
citizens, the economy, and companies.
Zuckerberg placed a statement on his
Facebook wall on December 9, 2015
which said that he wants "to add my voice in support of Muslims in our
community and around the world" in response to the aftermath of the
November 2015 Paris attacks
November 2015 Paris attacks and the 2015 San Bernardino
attack. The statement also said that Muslims are
"always welcome" on Facebook, and that his position was a result of
the fact that "as a Jew, my parents taught me that we must stand up
against attacks on all communities."
On February 24, 2016, Zuckerberg sent out a company-wide internal memo
to employees formally rebuking employees who had crossed out
handwritten "Black Lives Matter" phrases on the company walls and had
written "All Lives Matter" in their place.
Facebook allows employees
to free-write thoughts and phrases on company walls. The memo was then
leaked by several employees. As Zuckerberg had previously condemned
this practice at previous company meetings, and other similar requests
had been issued by other leaders at Facebook, Zuckerberg wrote in the
memo that he would now consider this overwriting practice not only
disrespectful, but "malicious as well." According to Zuckerberg's
Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter doesn't mean other lives don't -- it's
simply asking that the black community also achieves the justice they
deserve." The memo also noted that the act of crossing something out
in itself, "means silencing speech, or that one person's speech is
more important than another's." Zuckerberg also said in the memo that
he would be launching investigations into the
incidents. New York's Daily News interviewed Facebook
employees who commented anonymously that, "Zuckerberg was genuinely
angry about the incident and it really encouraged staff that
Zuckerberg showed a clear understanding of why the phrase 'Black Lives
Matter' must exist, as well as why writing through it is a form of
harassment and erasure."
In January 2017, Zuckerberg criticized Donald Trump’s executive
order to severely limit immigrants and refugees from some
Zuckerberg met his future wife, fellow student Priscilla Chan, at a
fraternity party during his sophomore year at Harvard. They began
dating in 2003.
In September 2010, Zuckerberg invited Chan, by then a medical student
at the University of California, San Francisco, to move into his
rented Palo Alto house. Zuckerberg studied Mandarin in preparation for
the couple's visit to China in December 2010. On May 19,
2012, Zuckerberg and Chan married in Zuckerberg's backyard in an event
that also celebrated her graduation from medical
school. On July 31, 2015, Zuckerberg announced that he
and Chan were expecting a baby girl. He said he felt confident that
the risk of miscarrying was low so far into the pregnancy, after Chan
had already suffered three miscarriages. On December 1,
Zuckerberg announced the birth of their daughter, Maxima Chan
Zuckerberg ("Max"). The couple announced on their Chinese
New Year video, published on February 6, 2016, that Maxima's official
Chinese name is Chen Mingyu (Chinese: 陈明宇). They welcomed
their second daughter, August, in August 2017.
Zuckerberg has also been very active in China, and he has been a
Tsinghua University business school's advisory board since
While raised Jewish, Zuckerberg later identified as an
atheist, a position he has since renounced. He has
shown an appreciation for Buddhism. With regard to
Christianity, both Zuckerberg and his wife told
Pope Francis in August
2016 "how much we admire his message of mercy and tenderness, and how
he's found new ways to communicate with people of every faith around
the world." In December 2016, when asked "Aren't you an
atheist?" in response to a
Christmas Day post on Facebook, Zuckerberg
responded, "No. I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period
where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very
important." As he closed his commencement address at Harvard
University in May 2017, Zuckerberg shared the Jewish prayer Mi
Shebeirach, which he stated he says when he faces challenges in
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^ Kell, John (February 8, 2016). "
Mark Zuckerberg Reveals Daughter's
Chinese Name". Fortune.com. Retrieved February 29, 2016. In a pretty
adorable video shared by the tech executive over the weekend,
Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan said their daughter Max's
Chinese name is Chen Mingyu.
Mark Zuckerberg and his wife just unveiled their new baby girl to
the world". Fox News. August 28, 2017. Retrieved August 28,
Mark Zuckerberg is back in China as
Facebook eyes opportunity to
finally enter the country". Business Insider. October 28, 2017.
^ Vara, Vauhini (November 28, 2007). "Just How Much Do We Want to
Share On Social Networks?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved
December 30, 2016.
^ Daniel Alef (October 17, 2010). Mark Zuckerberg: The Face Behind
Facebook and Social Networking. Titans of Fortune Publishing.
ISBN 9781608043118. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
^ a b Julie Zauzmer (December 30, 2016). "
Mark Zuckerberg says he's no
longer an atheist, believes 'religion is very important'". The
Washington Post. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
Facebook Is Injecting
Buddhism Into Its Core Business So It Can Be
More Compassionate". Retrieved June 25, 2013.
Mark Zuckerberg says "
Buddhism is an amazing religion". Retrieved
October 27, 2015.
^ Zauzmer, Julie (August 29, 2016). "
Pope Francis and Facebook's Mark
Zuckerberg had a meeting today - The Washington Post". The Washington
Post. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
^ Fox, Emily Jane (August 29, 2016). "
Mark Zuckerberg Gives the Pope
an Unusual Gift". Vanity Fair. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
^ Esteves, Junno Arocho (August 29, 2016). "Pope meets with Facebook
founder Mark Zuckerberg". America. Retrieved January 7, 2017.
^ Bailey, Sarah Pulliam (May 25, 2017). "
Mark Zuckerberg shares the
prayer he says to his daughter every night -". The Washington Post.
Retrieved June 6, 2017.
Mark Zuckerberg gave the
commencement address at
Harvard University on Thursday, closing his
speech by sharing a Jewish prayer called the “Mi Shebeirach,”
which he said he recites whenever he faces a big challenge and which
he sings to his daughter, thinking of her future, when he tucks her in
^ Hallowell, Billy (May 26, 2017). "After Abandoning Atheism, Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg Reveals the Prayer He Sings to His Daughter
Every Night Before Bed". Faithwire. Retrieved June 6, 2017. It was
during Zuckerberg’s commencement address at
Harvard University that
he shared a Jewish prayer called the “Mi Shebeirach”— an
invocation that he said he recites as he copes with major challenges
in life and also when he tucks his child in at night, the Washington
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