Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, is no doubt one of the greatest human beings that have walked the surface of the earth.
Through his popular social media platform, this tech guru has given value to the popular saying: “The world is a small village”.
In his first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa, the 7th richest man in the world spent two days in Lagos, before visiting Kenya, and later returning to Nigeria to meet President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
Here are 25 things you probably didn’t know about him.
NAMED AFTER HIS GRANDFATHER
He was named after Marco, his Bulgarian maternal grandfather, who migrated to the United States in the 1940s.
HAS 3 SISTERS
The eldest child of Edward, a dentist, and Karen, a psychiatrist, Mark has three female siblings: Randi, Donna and Arielle.
HOW HIS PROGRAMMING JOURNEY BEGAN
His father taught him Atari BASIC Programming in the 1990s, and later hired software developer David Newman to tutor him privately.
At age of 12 years, he built ZuckNet, a software programme which allowed all the computers between the house and his father’s dental office to communicate.
CO-FOUNDED FACEBOOK WITH 3 ROOM MATES
On February 4 2004, Zuckerberg alongside Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, his college roommates at Harvard, founded Facebook. Saverin was the one who offered $1,000 capital money to get the company started.
LONGEST LEGAL BATTLE OVER FACEBOOK
His longest legal battle over Facebook was against the twins, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. They accused him of stealing their idea of Facebook. However, they finally ended the battle with a settlement of over $60 million.
HE IS COLOURBLIND
The reason blue dominates Facebook website and mobile app is because Zuckerberg is colourblind.
According to The New Yorker, Zuckerberg is red-green colourblind, which means the colour he can see best is blue.
“Blue is the richest color for me. I can see all of blue,” he told the magazine.
YOU CAN’T BLOCK HIM ON FACEBOOK
No one can block him on Facebook. You wanna try?
THE CODE THAT MAKES HIS NAME APPEAR
Zuckerberg’s programmed his own trick into Facebook. If you type @[4:0] in the comment box, his name will appear. A trial will convince those in doubt.
NOT ACTIVE ON TWITTER
Zuckerberg’s Twitter handle is @finkd. He has 423,000 followers, and he’s following 819 people. He has posted only 19 tweets, the last being on January 18, 2012.
HE MET HIS WIFE IN A QUEUE
He met Priscilla Chan, his wife, while she was waiting in line for the bathroom at a party. That was in 2003, and nine years later they got married.
Like Mark, the daughter of Chinese-Vietnamese refugees, is a graduate of Harvard.
She joined Facebook on February 5, 2004, the day after it was launched, becoming one of the first set of persons to do so.
HIS WIFE IS THE FIRST GRADUATE IN HER FAMILY
She is the first in her Chinese-American family to graduate from university. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and graduated as a paediatrician from the University of California, the third-best medical school in the United States.
Priscilla is the eldest of three girls, with an eight-year age gap between her and her youngest sister.
SHE SUFFERED 3 MISCARRIAGES
In July last year, Zuckerberg announced that his wife had suffered three miscarriages.
He also went on to say that they would be expecting a child.
“Priscilla and I have some exciting news: we’re expecting a baby girl!” he wrote on Facebook.
“This will be a new chapter in our lives. We’ve already been so fortunate for the opportunity to touch people’s lives around the world — Cilla as a doctor and educator, and me through this community and philanthropy.
“Now we’ll focus on making the world a better place for our child and the next generation.”
On December 1, 2015, they welcomed their daughter.
DONATION TO CHARITY
In 2013, Zuckerberg and his wife donated 18 million shares of Facebook stock to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The shares were valued at around $1 billion.
In 2012, Global Associated News published the rumour that Zuckerberg died in a car crash.
The publication, which has developed a reputation for spreading false reports about celebrities’ deaths, claimed that alcohol was a factor in the death.
The report read: “Mark Zuckerberg died in a single vehicle crash on Route 80 between Morristown and Roswell. He was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics responding to the vehicle accident and was identified by photo ID found on his body. Alcohol and drugs do not appear to have been a factor in this accident – April 28, 2014.”
ZUCKERBERG’S ‘INFLUENTIAL’ DOG
His Hungarian Sheepdog named Beast, has a Facebook page with over 2.3 million page ‘likes’!
HE IS AN ATHEIST
Zuckerberg doesn’t believe in God. Are you surprised?
‘POOREST RICH PERSON’
Someone once described him as “the poorest rich person I’ve ever seen in my life”, living like a student in rented houses even though he was worth billions.
His family home has remained the same for decades, with little furniture, a small kitchen and the only obvious luxury a row of theatre style seats in front of a big TV.
RATED THE WORST DRESSED
Based on his trademark jeans and tee shirt, Zuckerberg topped the list of GQ’s Worst-Dressed Men of Silicon Valley in 2011.
Three years later, during a Q& A session, Zuckerberg said he often wears jean and tee shirts because of the nature of his schedule.
He said even small decisions like choosing what to wear or what to eat for breakfast could be tiring and consume energy, and he didn’t want to waste any time on that.
“I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community,” Zuckerberg said, after clarifying that he had “multiple same shirts.”
GAVE HIS FATHER 2 MILLION SHARES IN FACEBOOK
As of 2012, his father had not touched the two million shares in Facebook, which his son gave him as a thank you for helping him set up the business, a gift he initially refused but eventually accepted.
They were worth around $60 million back then.
Ed Zuckerberg said even though Mark had done well, he did not really know what he had done so right as a parent.
FAMILY MEMBERS REFUSED TO STOP WORKING
Back in 2012, his parents ran the same dental practice they opened in 1978, with no plans to retire.
Arielle was a product manager for San Francisco based marketing firm Wildfire Interactive. Dona, the second sister, Donna, ran a food blog and was doing a PhD at Princeton University, while Randi, the final sibling, had been married to college sweetheart Brent Tworetzky, with a baby named Asher and was making a reality TV show about the San Francisco Bay Area tech scene.
LOWEST PAID FACEBOOK EMPLOYEE
Since 2013, the billionaire draws an annual wage of just $1 as the CEO of Facebook, making him the company’s lowest-paid employee.
FIRST PERSON TO REJECT $1BN
He did what? Yes, he rejected $1 billion.
According to CNN, Terry Semel, former CEO of Yahoo, who offered Zuckerberg that sum in exchange of Facebook, told the New Yorker that he’d never met a person who would turn down a $1 billion offer.
“He [Zuckerberg] said, ‘It’s not about the price. This is my baby, and I want to keep running it, I want to keep growing it,’” Semel said, recalling his conversation with Zuckerberg in 2006. “I couldn’t believe it.”
The Harvard newspaper picked up on the same sentiment.
“That’s just like not something we’re really interested in,” he told the paper in 2004, referring to offers from companies wanting to buy Facebook. “I mean, yeah, we can make a bunch of money — that’s not the goal.”
BIGGEST STUMBLING BLOCK TO FACEBOOK
Last year, Zuckerberg faced what can be described as the biggest challenge in the 12-year history of his company. The attempt to dominate Indian cyberspace, was halted by an overwhelming local opposition.
As at 2014, there were up to 100 million Facebook users in the country. According to a Facebook executive, the company’s internal analysis projected that more than 30% of the new customers it hoped to add worldwide by 2020 would come from India.
Facebook did not intend waiting for them to just come on board, it developed the big plan: Internet.org, which would provide free basic internet services.
But the country’s techs raised suspicions. They saw Zuckerberg as someone who was out to give so little in exchange of a huge benefit.
Nikhil Pahwa, an entrepreneur, coordinated a massive campaign, which consumed the idea. Not even strategies adopted by Facebook, including spending an estimated £30 million on advertising, helped in achieving the desired result.
ONLY ADVICE FOR FRIENDS
What advice does he have to offer? “All of my friends who have younger siblings who are going to college or high school – my number one piece of advice is: You should learn how to program.”
A FAN OF GAGA, RIHANNA AND SHAKIRA
Some of his favorite musicians are Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Shakira, and Daft Punk.