Today, Mark Zuckerberg will testify before Congress over Facebook’s decision to share its users’ personal data. Zuckerberg will be asked why he agreed to share 87 million Facebook users’ personal information with third-parties like Cambridge Analytica.
With a real-time net worth of $64.8 billion, Zuckerberg is one of the richest people in the world, and his testimony will be critical for the future of the company.
Interested in learning more about Zuckerberg’s background, including his age and education? Read on.
1. He Is 33 and Has Two Children with Wife Priscilla Chan
Zuckerberg and his wife are both 33. They met during a frat party at Harvard their sophomore year, and tied the knot in 2012. Speaking to the New Yorker in 2010, Chan recalled her first experience meeting Zuckerberg. “He was this nerdy guy who was just a little bit out there,” Chan said. “I remember he had these beer glasses that said ‘pound include beer dot H.’ It’s a tag for C++. It’s like college humor but with a nerdy, computer-science appeal.”
On July 31, 2015, Zuckerberg announced that he and his wife were expecting a daughter. Maxima Chan Zuckerberg was born on December 1, 2015. Their second daughter was born in August 2017.
Priscilla Chan is a pediatrician and philanthropist. She earned her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco. She was the captain of her high school’s tennis and robotics team and graduated at the top of her class in 2003.
In 2016, Priscilla gave a frank interview to Mercury News, and opened up about her career and marriage. Together, Priscilla and Zuckerberg have vowed to give away 99% of their stake in Facebook away over their lifetimes.
2. He Attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire During High School
Zuckerberg was born in White Plains, New York, to his mother Karen, a psychiatrist, and his father, Edward, a dentist. He attended Ardsley High School before transferring to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire his junior year.
Phillips Exeter Academy is largely regarded as one of the 50 most elite boarding schools in the US. It has an acceptance rate of just 19%, and its alumni include an impressive list of people including Franklin Pierce, Gore Vidal, Dan Brown, and John Irving.
During high school, Zuckerberg took a graduate course in software development at Mercy College, near his Dobbs Ferry, New York, home.
3. He Launched Facebook from His Harvard Dormitory
Programming was a no-brainer for Zuckerberg by the time he reached college. He created CourseMatch, which allows users to make class selection decisions based on other students’ choices, during his sophomore year.
Not long after, Zuckerberg focused his efforts on creating Facemash, which many may remember from the film The Social Network. Facemash allowed people to rate the best looking person in a series of pics. Facemash was immediately shut down by the school. Not long after, he was approached by three upperclassmen who were interested in having him help them create a site they’d thought up, called Harvard Connection.
Zuckerberg helped the three men with their projects, but eventually, he decided to focus on his own site, which is called Facebook. As seen in the film, the Winklevoss twins sued Zuckerburg, arguing that he stole their idea. Eventually, a settlement of $1.2 million was reached.
4. He Dropped out of Harvard in 2004
In February 2004, Zuckerberg launched the original Facebook, which could be found at thefacebook.com.
He dropped out of Harvard his sophomore year, when he was just 19. In May 2017, Zuckerberg received an honorary degree from Harvard. That year, he also gave a commencement speech at the school. “Change starts local. Even global changes start small — with people like us,” Zuckerberg said.
“…this is my story too. A student in a dorm room, connecting one community at a time, and keeping at it until one day we can connect the whole world.”
Nine other people earned an honorary degree alongside Zuckerberg, including Judi Dench, John Williams, and Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe.
5. His Father Taught Him Programming in the 1990s
Zuckerberg is regarded by many as a child prodigy.
According to I’m Magic’s biogrpahy of Zuckerberg, his father taught him Atari BASIC Programming in the 1990s.
David Newman then taught him software development privately. One day in 1996, Mark’s father voiced his desire to have a better “arrival” system for his patients. Mark subsequently built a softare that connected all the computers in the house and allowed them to send messages. He named it ZuckNet, and according to the New Yorker, it functioned much like AOL Instant Messenger.