May 17th, 2012
03:05 PM ET

Timeline: Mark Zuckerberg's rise from child prodigy to Facebook billionaire

You know him as the man behind the mega social media site Facebook. But do you know about how he got there?

As his company prepares to go public, we wanted to take a look back on his life and how he ended up as one of the most prominent tech company founders.

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Personal details:

* Birth place: Dobbs Ferry, New York

* Birth name: Mark Elliot Zuckerberg

* Parents: Edward, a dentist, and Karen, a psychiatrist, Zuckerberg

* Education: Phillips Exeter Academy, 2002

Harvard University, 2002 – 2004, dropped out

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Other Facts:

* Is red-green colorblind.

* Took a graduate computer course at Mercy College when he was eleven.

* Became captain of the fencing team at Phillips Exeter Academy.

* Considered a prodigy by his early computer tutor David Newman.

* Co-created a software program named Synapse, which learned a listener's music habits.

* Met long-term girlfriend Priscilla Chan during his sophomore year at Harvard University.


* 1996 – Creates an instant messaging service for his dad's dentist office called ZuckNet.

* 2003 – Creates at Harvard, a website rating system to rank the physical attractiveness of those whose pictures he had downloaded from the school directory – without permission. The site garners lots of attention, both positive and negative, from the student body, and negative attention from the school administration. Zuckerberg is forced to take the site down.

* November 2003 – Harvard seniors, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra approach Zuckerberg about building a website named

* February 4, 2004 – Zuckerberg, roommates Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz, and friend Eduardo Saverin launch from Zuckerberg's Harvard dorm room.

Life on planet Facebook

* February 2004 – Expands Facebook from Harvard to Stanford, Columbia and Yale by the end of the month.

* June 2004 – Over 40 schools and 150,000 members are involved in To generate revenue ads are sold on the website.

* September 2004 – The Winklevosses and Narendra file a lawsuit against Zuckerberg, claiming he stole the idea for Facebook from Zuckerberg claims the HarvardConnection was a dating site and not a social networking site.

* May 2005 – Expands Facebook access to more than 800 colleges and universities.

* August 2005 – The name is officially changed to

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* September 2005 – Facebook expands into high schools.

* May 2006 – Select corporations, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and others, become first workplace members.

* September 2006 – Facebook is opened to any user.

* March 2007 – Million plus users in Canada and the United Kingdom

* Spring 2008 – Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra settle their lawsuit against Zuckerberg. The settlement is $20 million in cash and $45 million stock options.

* March 2008 – Is named the youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes.

* September 2010 – Donates $100 million to the Newark public schools system.

* October 1, 2010 – The Social Network is released in theaters. The film is an unauthorized version of how Facebook started.

* December 2010 – Is named Time Person of the Year.

* April 2011 – The Winklevoss twins petition to re-open their lawsuit and void the settlement agreement on the grounds their $65 million settlement wasn't enough based on the new valuation of the company. The company was valued at $15 billion at the time of the settlement and the twins believe the more accurate value is $50 billion, making their share worth over $100 million more. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denies their petition leaving the original settlement in place.

* July 6, 2011 – Announces a Skype video chat feature to Facebook.

* March 2012 – Ranked 14th on The Forbes 400: Richest People in America, his net worth is listed as $17.5 billion.

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Filed under: Facebook • Technology
soundoff (5 Responses)

    Actualy I find his accomplishments qiite imteresting.
    That he found a way to profit by combining human foibles and technology was indeed a stroke of genious
    Like many innovative minds he took an initialy small idea of crotch level thinkers and seeing a much greater possibily left his old cronys sucking wind.
    Without those innovative minds that dare to dream big life would be mighty boring.
    Not all dreamers are realist but now and then an individual comes along that upsets the ho hum existence of many.
    More should be expected from such minds and from his life so far it might be quite interesting to sre just what other thoughts are in the future.

    May 18, 2012 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. California Progressive

    Woohoo! Let's get this party started!

    Facebook initial public offering sold 421.2 million shares for $38 each. At that price, the 503.6 million shares and options Zuckerberg owns are valued at $19.1 billion, making him wealthier than Google Inc. co- founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, 29th richest man in the world.

    Looks like Moonbeam Jerry Brown and California won the lottery. We’ve got a $26 billion shortfall just this year. 9.3% tax rate on generous young Zuckerberg and we can keep this party rocking a little longer. Yeah, baby – make the rich pay their fair share!

    May 18, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. baalsh

    a person is judged by the amount of money he generates. was there any other reason for him to be time person? fb is a stolen idea

    May 20, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • zachary gloege

      is not

      November 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. zachary gloege

    im doing a science fair project on facebook privacy problems and this helped me a good bit.

    November 8, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |