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Net Worth: $1 million

Career/Profession: Internet Entrepreneur

An American Internet Entrepreneur Jimmy Wales is well known as one of the founders of Wikipedia, which is world’s largest online non-profitable encyclopedia. His full name is Jimmy Donal ‘Jimbo’ Wales. He is also responsible for establishing Wikia, a web-hosting company. His passion and addiction to the internet and exploring new things led him to form an online non profitable organization.

Sharp minded personality since childhood:


Jimmy Wales was born on August 7th, 1966 in Huntsville, Alabama.  He belongs to a very low class family where his father was a store manager and his mother used to run a private school. Since his childhood he was very sharp minded and always curious to learn new things. He used to pass his time exploring new things and reading World book encyclopedia. He completed his graduation in finance with a bachelor and master’s degree in it from Randolph School. He left his PhD in between and did not complete it because of some job offers in finance. He also worked in Chicago future firms as the research director.

Addicted to the Internet:

Wales always has an addiction of the internet since from his childhood. He used to code in his spare time. During his graduation, he was fond of playing virtual games like Multi-User Dungeons. This has helped him to know more about computer networks. In 1994, he started working with a Chicago future firm in Chicago. In 1995, he was very much inspired by the offer he got from Netscape he decided to quit from financial firms and wanted to pursue his profession as an Internet entrepreneur. His journey as an internet entrepreneur started with the Bomis, web portal for photographs. But this web portal did not hit the internet market and was an unsuccessful attempt.


Nupedia: His first attempt

Instead Bomis was not that much successful rather it provided him with the funds which helped him to move with his passion. He became a part of a discussion group where he came into contact with Larry Sanger. A hot conversation took place between both of them ending with the starting of new friendship. He decided to go with his project of an online encyclopedia so he hired Sanger with him on this project. Sanger became the chief editor of that pursuing project. In 2000, finally they came up with Nupedia which was open content encyclopedia. It was information providing a forum that contains information about expert topics, along with the advertisements of various brands that was a way to make profit. But this attempt also went unsuccessful. In 2001, Sanger came into contact with Ben Kovitz who was a master in programming. He explained his idea to the Kovitz. He suggested them about wiki model that would allow incremental growth and contribution throughout the encyclopedia. He suggested this to Wales and they both created Nupedia wiki. This project accepted full involvement from the users who write their articles and later on they are reviewed by their expertise.

Founder of Wikipedia:

Sanger and Wales were afraid of launching Wikipedia after the waste of their Nupedia attempt. But they finally made an effort to launch it in the market and surprisingly, it proved to be a fruitful attempt. Number of articles have outgrown over the internet with various numbers of editors. He made it an open source editing in which anyone can attempt to make edits. He was feared of this feature, but later on editing community was formed to see all such attempts.


Establishment of Wikimedia Foundation:

In 2003, Wales established a non profitable organization called as Wikimedia Foundation in St. Petersburg, Florida and after that it’s headquarter was set up in San Francisco. This foundation’s motto is to introduce policies for encyclopedia and its future projects. He was the part of the Board of Trustees and remained chairman of the foundation for the period of 2003-2006. From 2006, he was entitled to the respectful position of ‘Community. He always involved himself in the promotion of the Wikipedia at the computer and educational level. In one of his interview he announced that Wikipedia was worth $3 billion and donation made the whole thing possible. He had been into various controversies during his reign in the foundation. Danny Wool, Wikimedia employee accused him for the misuse of its funds. But all his accusation was in vain as Wales was fully supported by Florence Devouard, and Brad Petrick says that they knew about each and every expense of him.


His assets and property:

His assets and property, mainly revolve around his company Wikia. In 2004 he founded this company along with his fellow members. Wikia is basically a collection of wikis over different subjects. The services provided by Wikia were wide enough like it provided a search engine called Wikia Search which was enough to challenge Google. He resigned from his post of CEO in 2006. jimmy wales owns a private jet which remained in controversies for a long period of time which he justified as the assets of Wikipedia. he also owns a telephone company named People’s Operator.

Awards and Achievements:

  • In 2006, he listed his name in Scientist & Thinkers of Time 100.
  • World Economic Forum entitled him with Young Global Leader of 2007.
  • In 2014 he was amongst 25 Web Superstars, which was published in The Daily Telegraph.
  • He was awarded with the Pioneer Award, Leonardo European Corporate Learning Award in 2011.
  • He also received the Nokia Foundation Annual Award in 2009.
  • In 2013 he was awarded with a UNESCO Neils Bohr Medal.


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