In a time where technology rules the world, one of the most influential people is 30- year-old Mark Zuckerberg. At the helm of the powerful Facebook empire, Zuckerberg has been at the center of some of the most cutting-edge developments in the virtual world. As such, it’s no surprise that Mark Zuckerberg has a net worth estimated to be $35.7 billion, an admirable amount for any individual, no matter their field.
Born in White Plains, New York in 1984, Mark Zuckerberg already had an advantage in the world of computers from a very young age. His father instilled in him a love for computers and eventually, he attended Harvard University where his start-up, Facebook quickly gained popularity among his classmates. Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to focus on the success of his company.
Today, Zuckerberg is now the seventh-richest person in the world and is credited with being one of the most innovative minds in technology. Most of his wealth is due to his 24.2 percent share in Facebook, the company he founded in 2004, though he has also made investments and acquisitions in his name. The rest of his wealth is derived from other investments, including his acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging service, in 2014.
At the peak of his fortune, Mark Zuckerberg was regarded as the 11th richest person in the world in 2017. However, as the stock prices of companies such as Microsoft and Amazon have risen, Zuckerberg has experienced a slight decline and that same year, he donated nearly $700 million worth of shares in other companies to charity. Nonetheless, due to his continued success and prominent position, Zuckerberg’s net worth is still one of the highest in the world.
Though his immense wealth is absolutely a marker of success, Mark Zuckerberg is committed to using his wealth for greater good. His philanthropic endeavor, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is an organization devoted to investing in human potential and equality across the world. Through this organization, Zuckerberg has donated billions of dollars to medical research, criminal justice, education, and refugee relief.
At only 30 years old and with such a remarkable net worth, it is obvious that Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most important and talented figures in the technology world, if not the world at large. His success may have come relatively quickly, but his innovative drive and determination are what sets him apart as one of the most successful individuals of his generation.
Born in White Plains, NY in 1984 to a well-to-do family, Mark Zuckerberg was already in a prime position to experience success from a young age. His father, Edward Zuckerberg, was a dentist and his mother, Karen, a psychiatrist. Because of his parents’ occupations, Mark was immersed in the medical field from a young age, though he always held a special interest in computers and programming.
At the tender age of only 12, Mark had already developed a software for his father’s dental practice, called “Zucknet,” which enabled the reception desk to communicate with patients in the waiting area without yelling over each other. This development was seen as a sign of his potential by his parents and they pushed him to fulfill his intellectual potential.
In 2002, Zuckerberg enrolled in Harvard and began his higher education. It was during his freshman year at Harvard that he would create the first version of what would eventually become Facebook. Initially, the site was called Facemash, and was a Harvard-only system that allowed students to rate other students’ attractiveness.
Since this time, the impact and influence of Zuckerberg’s creation has spread from Harvard to worldwide. Zuckerberg’s success was rapid, and by the time he was 23, his net worth had grown to $4 billion. It was around this same time that Zuckerberg’s philanthropy also began to take shape.
Building His Fortune
One of the reasons for Mark Zuckerberg’s staggering net worth of $35.7 billion is the success of his company, Facebook. Through Facebook, Zuckerberg has had the opportunity to access other technology companies, including WhatsApp, Oculus and Instagram. He has used these acquisitions to help boost Facebook’s presence and to better meet customers’ needs.
In addition, Zuckerberg has also invested his own money in other companies, including investments in Start-Ups, Airbnb, Spotify and Lyft. Though such investments may be considered risky, they have all paid off as not only have these companies seen incredible growth, but Zuckerberg’s stake in them continues to increase.
Apart from his investments, Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth is also obtained from stock sales. Since 2017, Zuckerberg has sold more than 35 million shares of his own company, worth around $2.37 billion. Despite these sales, he still owns an incredible amount of Facebook stock, worth approximately $34 billion.
This wealth has brought Zuckerberg the opportunity to travel with his wife and daughter to visit projects funded by his philanthropy. From Kenya and Madagascar to India and Cuba, the couple have traveled the world to witness first-hand the impact of his hard-earned money.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Mark Zuckerberg is also renowned for his philanthropic contributions. In 2015, he founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative with his wife Priscilla Chan. The aim of the organization is to invest in the human potential to extend life, reduce inequality and provide access to education.
Since the launch of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in late 2015, Zuckerberg has donated millions to charity. In 2016 alone, he donated $3 billion to the cause of curing, preventing or managing all diseases in the human lifetime. Additionally, in 2017, he donated almost $1.1 billion to various charities, making him one of the most generous philanthropists of recent times.
Not only does the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative dedicate funding to important causes, but it also works in collaboration with charitable organizations, such as the Open Philanthropy Project, to help support their causes. Additionally, through his vast funds, Zuckerberg is leading the advancement of new medical treatments to accelerate global health research and provide access to quality medical care.
Conclusion of the Wealth of Mark Zuckerberg
It is clear that Mark Zuckerberg is a true phenomenon, particularly in modern technology. Though his wealth might have come quickly, he has handled it with humility and class, using his fortune to create a better world not only through the successes of his business, but through his commitment to philanthropy.
The Beginnings of Facebook
In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook, a then-fledgling social media site that has now gone on to be one of the most successful companies in the world and is responsible for the transformations of the way we communicate today. Originally, the development of Facebook was funded by Yuri Milner’s firm, Digital Sky Technologies, and Eduardo Saverin, a Harvard classmate of Zuckerberg and a co-founder of Facebook.
Facebook quickly gained widespread popularity and soon after, began to generate revenue. As the company’s founder and chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg made nearly $1 billion in profits from his 30 percent ownership stake in the company. This tremendous success eventually led to the now-famous IPO in 2012, where Mark Zuckerberg’s shares of Facebook were valued at more than $9 billion.
The combination of Mark Zuckerberg’s success in launching and maintaining the Facebook empire and his initial investments led to his current incredible net worth. As a result, Forbes magazine placed him at the top of their “World’s Richest People” list from 2012-2013.
Mark Zuckerberg has come a long way since the conception of his now world-famous website over a decade ago. His net worth has allowed him to enjoy a privileged, yet comfortable lifestyle. Though Zuckerberg is living lavishly, he, along with his wife Priscilla Chan, maintain a down-to-earth persona and look to their daughter Max as a motivation to lead a more meaningful existence.
Currently, the couple live in their lavish San Francisco home which they purchased in 2011. The house includes a gym, library and pool complete with a Barbie-pink slide. Consistent with his philanthropic endeavors, Mark has donated millions to various charities, including $2 million to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
Apart from Facebook and his philanthropy, Mark Zuckerberg is involved in several investments in the Silicon Valley area. Some of these investments include Revolution Growth, Andreessen Horowitz, Oculus VR, and the Breakthrough Prize.
Impact on Society
Though Facebook has received its fair share of criticism pertaining to user privacy and data collection, the social media site has had an enormous impact on society. Facebook has become the go-to platform for people to stay in touch and it has become a way in which businesses are able to reach larger audiences than ever before.
Additionally, though Facebook’s political influence has been contested over the years, it is clear that the site has had an immense impact on the political landscape. As one of the most easily accessible outlets for political discussion and news, Facebook has helped to inform and mobilize people from all over the world in a way that has not been seen before.
On top of these, Mark Zuckerberg’s various investments have had an enormous impact on the technology world. His investment in Oculus was the key in popularizing virtual reality technology. Additionally, he has been credited with helping establish Facebook as one of the most powerful companies in the world.
Moreover, his commitment to philanthropy and his work with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has surely made a positive difference in the world. Zuckerberg is leading attempts to revolutionize education, eradicate poverty, improve healthcare and provide access to knowledge.
The Future of Mark Zuckerberg
Though Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth of $35.7 billion is an impressive achievement, it does not seem to be enough for the ambitious entrepreneur. Zuckerberg has shown no signs of slowing down, and he still appears to be just as motivated as the day he first started.
On the horizon lies the potential for Zuckerberg to become even richer. For instance, his controversial Libra cryptocurrency could play a role in expanding his already staggering fortune. Though this would come with many risks, as evidenced by the strong backlash from various European governments, Libra could be the next step in money and internet domination for Mark Zuckerberg.
Furthermore, there are also rumours that Zuckerberg will be running for the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, which could also have a tremendous impact on his fortune. Despite these speculations, the future of Zuckerberg’s wealth remains uncertain. All that can be said for sure is that with the immense drive and ambition of Mark Zuckerberg, his fortune is only as formidable as his ideas.