Jimmy Wales was born on August 7,1966 in Huntville Alabama,shortly before midnight on August 7,1966,while his birth certifcate read August 8.
His father ,Jimmy , was a grocery store manager.
His mother , Doris Ann (nee Dudley) managed the House of Learning along side with his Grandmother , Erma .
Atypical small private school usually in a one -room apartment.Wales and his three siblings had their
early education at the Home-school.
As a child, Wales was an avid reader with an acute intellectual curiosity.When he was three, his mother purchased a World of Encyclopedias from a door-to-door salesman.
As he grew up and learned to read, it became an object of reverence.
This made him very versatile in various fields and abundant supply of information at his fingertips .
However, Wales soon discovered that the World Book had its own shortcomings: no matter how much was information it has, there were many more areas that were not covered.
World Booksent out stickers for owners to paste on the pages in order to update the encyclopedia, and Wales was careful to put the stickers to work, saying,
“I joke that I started as a kid revising the encyclopedia by stickering the one my mother bought.”
“We had a set of World Book Encyclopedias which my mother bought from a travel agent back in the day,” says Wales.
“Every year, they would send out the annual update and sometimes they would just rewrite an article completely,” he says, delighting in the memory.
“They would send out these stickers with them and when, say, the Moon article was updated, I would go back to ‘M’ and and next to the article on the Moon I would paste a sticker saying:
‘Check the 1979 annual for the latest version of this article.’ I guess that was my first time editing an encyclopaedia.”
During an interview in 2005 with Brian Lamb , Wales described his childhood private school as a “Montessori influenced philosophy of education”, where he “spent lots of hours digesting the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias”.
Wales only had just four students in his grade , so the school grouped together the first fourth-grade students till they reached eighth-grade.
As an adult, Wales was sharply critical of the government’s treatment of the school, citing the “constant interference and bureaucracy and very sort of snobby inspectors from the state” as a formative influence on his political philosophy.
Wales went to Randolph School ,a University -Preparatory school in Huntville ,graduating at sixteen.
Wales said that the school was expensive for his family ,but that “education was always a passion in my household…you know,the very traditional approach to knowledge and learning and establishing that as a base for a good life”
He had his Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from AUBURN university in 1986.
Wales then entered the PhD finance program at the University of Alabama before leaving with a master’s degree to enter the PhD finance program at Indiana University .
At the University of Alabama, he is an avid video game player and loves Internet fantasy games and developed his interest in the web.
He was a lecturer at both Universities during his but did not write the Doctoral dissertation required for a PhD, due to his lack of enthusiasm.
In 1994, Wales took a job with Chicago Options Associates , a futures and options trading firm in Chicago, Illinois .
Wales has described himself as having been attracted to the Internet from an early stage and he wrote computer code during his leisure time although he called himself a poor programmmer.
During his studies in Alabama, he had become an obsessive player of Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs)—a type of virtual role -playing game .He saw the vast potential computer networks can provide for large-scale collaborative projects.
Inspired by the remarkably successful initial public offering of Netscape in 1995, and having accumulated capital through “speculating on interest-rate and foreign-currency fluctuations”.
Wales left financial trading field and became an Internet entrepreneur.
In 1996, he and two other associates established Bomis, a web portal featuring user -genrated webrings and for a time, erotic photographs.
Although, the Bomis venture did not ultimately turn out to be successful .
Though Bomis was hardly profitable , it provided the funds Wales needed to pursue his dream,an online encyclopaedia
The due of Wales and Sanger met in an online group devoted to Philosophy of Objectivism in the early 1990s,while Larry Sanger remain a skeptic of the philosophy.
The two had engaged in series of debate on the subject on Wales’s list and then Sanger’s, eventually arranged to meet offline so as to continue the debate and becoming friends.
Years later, after deciding to pursue his encyclopaedia project and seeking a credentialed academic to lead it.
Wales hired Sanger—who at that time was a doctoral student in Philosophy at Ohio State University—to be its Editor-in-Chief , and in March 2000, Nupedia (“the free encyclopaedia”), a peer-reviewed,open-content encyclopaedia, was launched.
The intent behind Nupedia was to have expert-written entries on a variety of topics, and to sell advertising alongside the entries in order to make profit.
The project was characterized by an extensive peer-review process designed to make its articles of a quality comparable to that of professional encyclopaedias .
Wikepedia which is now available in 285 languages,gets more than 20 billion page views and roughly 516 million unique visitors a month.
It is the fifth-most-visited Web site in the world behind Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook; and ahead of Amazon, Apple and eBay.
It is worth mentioning that if Wikipedia is to accept banner and video ads, it could, by most estimates, be worth as much as $5 billion.
Wales is a former co-chair of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East 2008, and a former board member of Socialtext .
Wikipedia currently accept small donations from individuals to keep the site alive and it was estimated that about $ 85 million is generated annually through donors.
He is a member of the Berkman Centre for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, the advisory board of the MIT Centre for Collective Intelligence.
He is also on Board of Directors at Creative Commons and Hunch.com.
In 2006, Wales was listed in the “Scientists & Thinkers” section of the TIME100 and came 12 “The Web Celebs 25” in Forbes same year.
Wales has declared that he is the sole founder of Wikipedia,and has publicly debated Sanger’s designation as a co-founder.
Sanger and Wales were identified as co-founders at least as early as September 2001 by The NewYork Times and as founders in Wikipedia’s first press release in January 2002.
In August of that year, Wales identified himself as “co-founder” of Wikipedia.
Sanger collated on his personal webpage an assortment of links that appear to confirm the status of Sanger and Wales as co-founders.
say for instance, Sanger and Wales are described in early news mentioning and press releases as co-founders.
Wales was quoted by The Boston Globe as calling Sanger’s claim “preposterous” in February 2006,and called “the whole debate” “silly” in an April 2009 interview
A humanitarian vision has always been the driving force behind Wikipedia .
The main objective for Wikipedia , he says, is to create a world in which “every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge”.
If he had it his way, people in the furthest, most destitute corners of the world would all have a mobile phone pre-loaded with Wikipedia at no data charge.
In 2017, Wales announced that he is starting an online publication called WikiTribune , with soul objective to mitigate fake news with collaboration with professional journalists and volunteer contributors.
Wales described it as “news by the people and for the people”, and that it will be the “first time that professional journalists and citizen journalists will work side-by-side as equals .
Writing stories as they happen, editing them live as they develop, and at all times backed by a community checking and rechecking all facts”
He is a man who believes politics can be changed and repaired .
His story is an inspiration for us all,this is what early exposure to quality education can do alter the course of a child life : we all have the same capacity to develop and discover our innate potentials and live up to our dreams and passions.
We hope you have enjoyed exploring Jimmy Wales biography and his success story have inspired you to