Mark Zuckerberg is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the social networking site Facebook. The success of Facebook made Zuckerberg a paper billionaire at the age of 24; Forbes
ranked him in 2010 as the 35th richest American, putting the 26-year-old's wealth at nearly $7 billion. The details of how Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004, while a student at Harvard, have been the subject of legal battles ever since between Zuckerberg and fellow students who claim a part (or more) in its beginnings. Zuckerberg's computer prowess isn't in question -- in high school he created an mp3 program that drew generous offers from Microsoft (which he turned down), and at Harvard he had a reputation for being a programming whiz. Whether it was Zuckerberg's idea or not, he did create the technical platform for what became Facebook. A few months later he left Harvard and secured funding in Silicon Valley, and by 2008 Zuckerberg was listed in Forbes
as one of the 400 richest Americans. The story behind Facebook spawned a book, The Accidental Billionaires
(2009, by Ben Mezrich), which became a David Fincher
film, The Social Network
(2010). Facebook had its initial public offering in May of 2012, giving Zuckerberg an estimated wealth of about $17 billion (not counting stock options) at the moment of the IPO. By 2015 that amount had nearly tripled, and Zuckerberg and his wife announced on December 1, 2015 that they planned to give 99% of their Facebook stock -- worth an estimated $45 billion at that time -- to their charitable organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. On the same day they announced the birth of their first child, a daughter named Maxima.