Jimmy Wales

Written by CK-12 Foundation on July 15, 2009
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Jimmy Wales

Jimmy “Jimbo” Wales, is an American Internet entrepreneur best known for
founding Wikipedia.org, as well as other wiki-related organizations, including
the charitable organization Wikimedia Foundation, and the for-profit company
Wikia, Inc.

Wales received his Bachelor’s degree in finance from Auburn University and his
Master’s in finance from University of Alabama. He was appointed a fellow of
the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School in 2005 and in
2006, he joined the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization Creative
Commons.

In January of 2001, Wales started Wikipedia.org, the online encyclopedia that
anyone can edit and today Wikipedia and its sister projects are among the
top-five most visited sites on the web (comScore, January 2009). In mid-2003,
Wales set up the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization based in St.
Petersburg, Florida, to support Wikipedia.org. The Foundation, now based in
downtown San Francisco, boasts a staff of close to thirty focusing on
fundraising, technology, and programming relating to the expansion of
Wikipedia. Wales now sits on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation,
and as founder continues to act as a key spokesperson.

In 2004, Wales co-founded Wikia, Inc., a for-profit company that enables groups
of people to share information and opinions that fall outside the scope of an
encyclopedia. Wikia’s community-created wikis range from video games and
movies to finance and environmental issues. Wikia, Inc., attracts more than 30
million unique visitors per month to its 10,000+ enthusiast communities.

In 2007, The World Economic Forum recognized Wales as one of the “Young
Global Leaders.” This prestigious award acknowledges the top 250 young
leaders for their professional accomplishments, their commitment to society and
their potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. In addition,
Wales received the “Time 100 Award” in 2006, as he was named one of the
world’s most influential people in the “Scientists & Thinkers” category.