Mark Elliot Zuckerberg (age 24) was born May 14, 1984. He is an American computer programmer and entrepreneur. A Harvard dropout, he is credited with developing and launching the online social networking website Facebook with the help of fellow Harvard student and computer science major Andrew McCollum as well as roommates Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. He now serves as Facebook’s CEO.
In 2008, Forbes Magazine declared him ” youngest billionaire on earth and possibly the youngest self-made billionaire ever”, with an estimated net worth of $1.5 billion USD. However, the validity of this label has also been met with controversy.
Mark Zuckerberg was born to a Jewish-American family and raised in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He’s a dentist’s son. He first attended Ardsley High School and then the Phillips Exeter Academy where he was a resident of Browning House.
Zuckerberg was recruited by both Microsoft and AOL in his senior year due to a hacking project. Instead, he opted to attend Harvard University.
Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room on February 15, 2004. It quickly became a success at Harvard and more than two-thirds of the school’s students signed up in the first two weeks. Zuckerberg then decided to spread Facebook to other schools and enlisted the help of roommate Dustin Moskovitz. They first spread it to Stanford, Columbia and Yale and then to other Ivy League colleges and schools in the Boston area. By the beginning of the summer, Zuckerberg and Moskovitz had released Facebook at almost forty five schools.
On October 24, 2007, Facebook Inc. sold a 1.6% stake to Microsoft Corp. for $240 million, spurning a competing offer from online search leader Google Inc.
Zuckerberg’s Harvard classmates, Divya Narendra, Cameron Winklevoss, and Tyler Winklevoss, claim they hired him to finish the code on their website, ConnectU and that he stole their idea, design, business plan, and source code. A lawsuit was filed in 2004 claiming a breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright infringement, in addition to other claims. Zuckerberg claims there was no contract and that he was not a partner. They are seeking monetary damages. ConnectU has maintained that it is not their intention to shut down Facebook.
Since its original filing in Massachusetts, the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice on March 28, 2007, but was never ruled on. It was refiled soon thereafter in U.S. District Court in Boston, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 25, 2007. At the hearing the judge told ConnectU that parts of their complaint were not sufficiently pled and gave them the ability to refile an amended complaint.
On June 25, 2008 Facebook agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of cash and stock to settle the legal battle with ConnectU. The terms of the deal were confidential and the Winklevosses, Narendra and ConnectU agreed to make no future claims