Mark Zuckerberg

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Zuckerberg grew up in the New York City suburb of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and attended the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. His father is a dentist, his mother a psychiatrist, and he has three sisters. He taught himself how to program computers, and during his senior year in high school, he and fellow hacker-programmer Adam D’Angelo caught the interest of AOL and Microsoft by creating a Winamp plug-in that could build customized playlists.

But both turned down job offers in order to attend college in 2002 — Zuckerberg to Harvard and D’Angelo to CalTech. But Zuckerberg’s undergraduate career in computer science wasn’t destined to last. Not content to just study programming, he created a photo-rating site called Facemash, using photographs of other Harvard students from the school’s online facebook (a yearbook-like publication designed to introduce students to one another). But he created his program by hacking into student records and using photos without permission, and was reprimanded by the administration for violating privacy rules and breaching computer security.

Zuckerberg, however, wasn’t deterred. He eventually finished the platform for “The Facebook” (sometimes at the expense of attending class), combining the concept of traditional facebooks with large-scale social networking sites like Myspace and Friendster.


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