Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales
Wikimania 2016 - Press conference with Jimmy Wales and Katherine Maher 01 (cropped).jpg
Wales at the Wikimania conference in 2016
Jimmy Donal Wales

(1966-08-07) August 7, 1966 (age 52)
ResidenceLondon, England[1]
Other namesJimbo (online moniker)[2]
OccupationInternet entrepreneur
formerly financial trader
Net worthUS$1 million[2][3] (2014)
SuccessorFlorence Devouard (as Chair of Wikimedia Foundation)
Board member of
  • Pamela Green (1986–1993)
  • Christine Rohan (1997–2011)
  • Kate Garvey (2012–present)
Children3 daughters
AwardsSee below
WebsiteOfficial website
Jimmy Wales signature.svg

Jimmy Donal Wales (born August 7, 1966), also known by the online moniker Jimbo,[2] is an American Internet entrepreneur,[3][5] best known as the co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia[6] and the for-profit web hosting company Wikia.[7]

Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, where he attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school.[8][9] Later, he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in finance from Auburn University and the University of Alabama respectively.[9]

While in graduate school, Wales taught at two universities; however, he departed before completing a PhD to take a job in finance and later worked as the Research Director of a Chicago futures and options firm. In 1996, he and two partners founded Bomis, an adult web portal featuring entertainment and adult content. The company would provide the initial funding for the peer-reviewed free encyclopedia, Nupedia (2000–03), and its successor, Wikipedia.

On January 15, 2001, with Larry Sanger and others, Wales launched Wikipedia—a free, open content encyclopedia that enjoyed rapid growth and popularity; as Wikipedia's public profile grew, he became the project's promoter and spokesman. He is historically cited as a co-founder of Wikipedia, though he has disputed the "co-" designation, declaring himself the sole founder.[10][11]

Wales serves on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, the non-profit charitable organization that he helped establish to operate Wikipedia, holding its board-appointed "community founder" seat. In 2004, he co-founded Wikia, a for-profit wiki hosting service. His role in creating Wikipedia, which has become the world's largest encyclopedia, prompted Time magazine to name him in their 2006 list of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World".[12]

Early life

Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, shortly before midnight on August 7, 1966; however, his birth certificate lists his date of birth as August 8.[13][14] His father, Jimmy,[15] worked as a grocery store manager, while his mother, Doris Ann (née Dudley), and his grandmother, Erma, ran the House of Learning,[16][9] a small private school in the tradition of the one-room schoolhouse, where Wales and his three siblings received their early education.[16][17]

As a child, Wales was a keen reader with an acute intellectual curiosity.[7] When he was three, his mother bought a World Book Encyclopedia from a door-to-door salesman. As he grew up and learned to read, it became an object of reverence. It put at his fingertips an abundant supply of knowledge complete with maps, illustrations, and a few cellophane layers of transparencies one could lift to explore such things as the muscles, arteries, and digestive system of a dissected frog. But Wales soon discovered that the World Book had shortcomings: no matter how much was in it, there were many more things that were not. World Book sent 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, stating, "I joke that I started as a kid revising the encyclopedia by stickering the one my mother bought."[18]

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 poring over the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias".[19] There were only four other children in Wales's grade, so the school grouped together the first through fourth-grade students and the fifth through eighth-grade students. 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.[19]

After eighth grade, Wales attended Randolph School,[20][21][22][23] a university-preparatory school in Huntsville, graduating at sixteen.[24] 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."[19] He received his bachelor's degree in finance from Auburn University in 1986.[9] He began his Auburn education when he was 16 years old.[9] 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.[17][19][24] At the University of Alabama, he played Internet fantasy games and developed his interest in the web.[9] He taught at both universities during his postgraduate studies but did not write the doctoral dissertation required for a PhD, something he ascribed to boredom.[17][19]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Jimmy Wales
Alemannisch: Jimmy Wales
አማርኛ: ጂሚ ዌልስ
العربية: جيمي ويلز
aragonés: Jimmy Wales
অসমীয়া: জিম্মী ৱেলছ
asturianu: Jimmy Wales
azərbaycanca: Cimmi Ueyls
Bahasa Banjar: Jimmy Wales
Bân-lâm-gú: Jimmy Wales
беларуская: Джымі Вэйлз
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Джымі Ўэйлз
भोजपुरी: जिमी वेल्स
Bikol Central: Jimmy Wales
български: Джими Уейлс
Boarisch: Jimmy Wales
bosanski: Jimmy Wales
brezhoneg: Jimmy Wales
català: Jimmy Wales
Cebuano: Jimmy Wales
čeština: Jimmy Wales
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Jemio Walesa
Chi-Chewa: Jimmy Wales
Cymraeg: Jimmy Wales
Deutsch: Jimmy Wales
ދިވެހިބަސް: ޖިމީ ވޭލްސް
डोटेली: जिमी वेल्स
Ελληνικά: Τζίμι Γουέιλς
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Jimmy Wales
español: Jimmy Wales
Esperanto: Jimmy Wales
estremeñu: Jimmy Wales
euskara: Jimmy Wales
فارسی: جیمی ویلز
français: Jimmy Wales
furlan: Jimmi Wales
Gaeilge: Jimmy Wales
galego: Jimbo Wales
Gĩkũyũ: Jimmy Wales
ગુજરાતી: જિમ્મી વેલ્સ
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Jimmy Wales
한국어: 지미 웨일스
հայերեն: Ջիմմի Ուելս
हिन्दी: जिमी वेल्स
hrvatski: Jimmy Wales
Bahasa Hulontalo: Jimmy Wales
Ilokano: Jimmy Wales
Bahasa Indonesia: Jimmy Wales
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: ᔨᒥ ᐆᐃᓪᔅ
íslenska: Jimmy Wales
italiano: Jimmy Wales
Kapampangan: Jimmy Wales
ქართული: ჯიმი უელსი
қазақша: Джимми Уэйлс
Kiswahili: Jimmy Wales
Kreyòl ayisyen: Jimmy Wales
kurdî: Jimmy Wales
Кыргызча: Уэйлс, Жимми
لۊری شومالی: جیمی ۋلز
latviešu: Džimijs Veilss
Lëtzebuergesch: Jimmy Wales
lietuvių: Jimmy Wales
Limburgs: Jimmy Wales
lumbaart: Jimmy Wales
magyar: Jimmy Wales
मैथिली: जिमी वेल्स
македонски: Џими Велс
Malagasy: Jimmy Wales
მარგალური: ჯიმი უეილსი
مازِرونی: جیمی ویلز
Bahasa Melayu: Jimmy Wales
Baso Minangkabau: Jimmy Wales
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Jimmy Wales
монгол: Жимми Уэйлс
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဂျင်မီဝေးလ်စ်
Nāhuatl: Jimmy Wales
Nederlands: Jimmy Wales
Napulitano: Jimmy Wales
нохчийн: Уэйлс, Джимми
norsk nynorsk: Jimmy Wales
occitan: Jimmy Wales
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Jimmy Wales
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਜਿੰਮੀ ਵੇਲਸ
Pangasinan: Jimmy Wales
پنجابی: جمی ویلز
Piemontèis: Jimmy Wales
Plattdüütsch: Jimmy Wales
polski: Jimmy Wales
português: Jimmy Wales
Qaraqalpaqsha: Jimmy Wales
română: Jimmy Wales
Runa Simi: Jimmy Wales
русский: Уэйлс, Джимми
саха тыла: Дьимми Уэйлс
Gagana Samoa: Jimmy Wales
Seeltersk: Jimmy Wales
sicilianu: Jimmy Wales
Simple English: Jimmy Wales
سنڌي: جمي ويلس
slovenčina: Jimmy Wales
slovenščina: Jimmy Wales
Soomaaliga: Jimmy Wales
Sranantongo: Jimmy Wales
српски / srpski: Џими Вејлс
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Jimmy Wales
svenska: Jimmy Wales
Tagalog: Jimmy Wales
тоҷикӣ: Ҷимми Вэйлс
Türkçe: Jimmy Wales
Türkmençe: Jimmy Wales
українська: Джиммі Вейлз
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: جىمى ۋالىس
vèneto: Jimmy Wales
vepsän kel’: Uels Džimmi
Tiếng Việt: Jimmy Wales
文言: 威霽彌
Winaray: Jimmy Wales
Zazaki: Jimmy Wales
žemaitėška: Džims Veilsos