Jimmy Donal Wales ( /ˈdoʊnəl ˈweɪlz/; born August 7, 1966) is an American Internet entrepreneur best known as a co-founder and promoter of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia and the Wikia company. Wales was born inHuntsville, Alabama, United States, where he attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school, then earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance. While in graduate school, he taught at two universities, but left before completing a PhD in order 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, a male-oriented web portal featuring entertainment and adult content. The company would provide the initial funding for the peer-reviewed free encyclopedia Nupedia (2000–2003) and its successor, Wikipedia.
On January 15, 2001, with Larry ...view middle of the document...
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 its 2006 list of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World".
Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, on August 7, 1966. His father, Jimmy, worked as a grocery store manager, while his mother, Doris, and his grandmother, Erma, ran the House of Learning, a small private school in the tradition of the one-room schoolhouse, where Wales and his three siblings received their early education. As a child, Wales was a keen reader with an acute intellectual curiosity and, in what he credits to the influence of the Montessori method on the school’s philosophy of education, "spent lots of hours pouring [sic] over the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias." There were only four other children in Wales’ 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.
After eighth grade, Wales attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school in Huntsville, graduating at sixteen. 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." He received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Auburn University. Wales then entered the PhD finance program at theUniversity of Alabama before leaving with a master's degree to enter the PhD finance program at Indiana University. 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.