How many times have you checked Facebook today? The web giant is so omnipresent that it’s easy to forget that it was once just an idea in the head of Mark Zuckerberg. And when the introverted programmer launched Facebook in 2004, he never could’ve guessed it would make him an icon.
Zuckerberg became one of the richest and most recognizable people in the world, and it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon. Still, there are many aspects of his life that most people know nothing about. In fact, he might even know you better than you know him — until now!
1. In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg took his company public on the stock market. Facebook had one of the biggest IPOs — initial public offerings — in history. Ever since, Mark has tacked on an addition $9 billion to his net worth each year. Of course, Zuck wasn’t always a tech mogul.
2. Mark’s parents raised him in the Jewish faith in Westchester, New York. As a child, he was also hugely devoted to the Star Wars franchise, so much so that he even had a bar mitzvah themed after the galaxy far, far away.
3. A programming prodigy, Mark learned to code at an early age. Tech giants, including Microsoft and AOL, sent him job offers before he even graduated high school! Of course, he turned them down to attend Harvard University, where he started Facebook in his dorm room.
4. Mark met his future-wife Priscilla Chan at a party during his sophomore year and asked her out with the line, “I’d rather go on a date with you than finish my take-home midterm.” Despite the rough first impression, the pair fell in love and married in 2012.
5. Nowadays, Zuck is not proud that his web empire began as a site called Facemash. This basic website allowed Harvard students to randomly view two classmates and vote on which one was more attractive.
6. Other Harvard students, including twin rowers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, accused Mark of stealing their idea for a social media site. After filing a lawsuit, they received a settlement of over 1 million Facebook shares.
7. Despite being one of the world’s biggest entrepreneurs, Mark is also a college dropout. He left Harvard after his sophomore year to build Facebook into an international phenomenon. To his delight, Mark’s former school gave him an honorary degree in 2017.
8. Mark suffers from red-green colorblindness, which means that the shade he sees most clearly is blue. For that reason, it’s no coincidence that he chose blue as the signature color of his company.
9. Many people best know Mark’s backstory from the 2010 Aaron Sorkin film The Social Network. Mark, however, wasn’t its biggest fan. He criticized a number of inaccuracies in the movie and claimed some of the characterizations hurt his feelings.
10. While he was once a broke college student, Zuck built up a net worth of $56 billion as of 2018. Five years earlier, Forbes put Facebook on the Fortune 500, and Mark — at age 28 — became the youngest CEO on the list.