Jimmy Wales

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Jimmy Wales

NameJimmy Donal Wales
Nick NameJimbo
DOB07 August 1966
(Age 57 Yr. )

Personal Life

Education Master Degree In Finance
Religion Atheist
Nationality American
Profession Internet Entrepreneur, Webmaster, Financial Trader
Birth Place Huntsville, Alabama,   USA

Physical Appearance

Height 5 feet 6 inches
Weight 72 kg (approx.)
Eye Color Blue
Hair Color Salt & Pepper

Family Status


Father – Jimmy Wales Sr. (Worked as a grocery store manager)
Mother – Doris Ann

Marital Status Married

Pamela Green ​(m. 1986; div. 1993)​
Christine Rohan ​(m. 1997; div. 2011)​
Kate Garvey ​(m. 2012)


Daughter- Kira Wales, Ada Wales


Brother- Johnny

Sister- DeeAnna, Dori

Jimmy Wales is an American-British entrepreneur, famous as the co-founder of ‘Wikipedia’, the free online encyclopedia. ‘Wikipedia’ is a non-profit organization whereas his other company ‘Wikia’ is a for-profit web hosting organisation. As a child, he received a unique kind of private school education, where he spent many hours studying encyclopedias. As a teenager, he transferred to a college-prep school and earned a master’s degree in finance. He also taught in two universities and later worked as a finance trader. Fascinated by the Internet, he quit his job to start a male-oriented website ‘Bomis' that was unsuccessful. He then started an online encyclopedia, ’Nupedia’, with Larry Sanger. It later became ‘Wikipedia’ and was a wildly successful venture. Then, he started a non-profit company ‘Wikimedia Foundation’. But relations between him and Sanger soured and he tried to denounce Sanger as the co-founder of ‘Wikipedia.' He has served on the boards of many think-tanks and tech corporates, even advising the UK government on cyber-activity matters. He has received many awards and honorary degrees from universities across the world.

Childhood & Early Life

  • Jimmy Wales was born on August 7, 1966, to Jimmy Sr. and Doris Ann, in Huntsville, Alabama. His father was a grocery store manager. He has three siblings.
  • His grandmother and mother reportedly ran a tiny private school ‘House of Learning’, where he was first educated.
  • From a young age, he enjoyed reading ‘World Book Encyclopedia’ for long hours. From eighth grade onwards, he transferred to a university prep school, ‘Randolph School’.
  • At the age of 16, he joined Alabama’s ‘Auburn University’ from where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance.
  • He then attained a master’s degree in finance from ‘University of Alabama’ while teaching at two universities.


  • In 1994, Jimmy Wales shifted to Chicago and took up a job as a futures and options trader at ‘Chicago Options Associates’.
  • By 1997, the advancements in the Internet had completely fascinated him and he quit his job to start his own company.
  • In 1998 (1996)1, he and his partners, Tim Shell and Michael Davis, started ‘Bomis’, a website that was targeted towards male users. It gave information on sporting activities, automobiles, women and provided explicit content.
  • ‘Bomis’ was heavily criticized for its content and was regarded unsuccessful. But it gave him the necessary capital for his next venture.
  • Jimmy Wales met his next business partner, Larry Sanger, as a fellow-follower of ‘Ayn Rand Philosophy Discussion List’, where Sanger was a moderator.
  • In March 2000, the duo launched ‘Nupedia’, a free online encyclopedia whose content was contributed by experts and scholars. It was then peer-reviewed and finally vetted by Sanger, who was the editor-in-chief.
  • He found the peer-review process lacking and a slow one, and began looking for an alternative, which he found in the concept of ‘wiki’ that was introduced to him by a programmer, Ben Kovitz.
  • On January 15, 2001, he and Sanger launched the ‘wiki’ version of ‘Nupedia’ called ‘Wikipedia’, which became very successful among users, very fast.
  • In 2002, he started ‘Wikimedia Foundation’ (WMF), a non-profit organization and transferred all his controlling powers of ‘Wikipedia’ to it after the departure of Sanger earlier in the year due to lack of funding from ‘Bomis’.
  • By 2003, he had decided to keep ‘Wikipedia’ free of funding by means of advertising revenue and open to all.
  • In 2004, he and fellow ‘WMF’ board member, Angela Beesley, founded a for-profit company ‘Wikia’, which is essentially a web-hosting service for sites created using the ‘wiki’ model.
  • In 2005, he conducted extensive edits to his own ‘Wikipedia’ page, a practice that is heavily denounced on the website. He became a board member at a provider of wiki technology to corporates called ‘Socialtext’.
  • In 2006, he stepped down as CEO of ‘Wikia’ but became a board member at another non-profit organization ‘Creative Commons’.
  • In 2008, a former employee of ‘WMF’ accused him of misusing ‘WMF’ funds for personal purposes.
  • In 2012, he reportedly advised the UK authorities on making academic research freely available online.
  • In 2014, he was part of a landmark case of ‘Google v. Gonzalez’ pertaining to privacy laws.
  • In 2017, he announced the launch of ‘WikiTribune’, a free online publication aimed at fighting fake news.
  • In 2019, he reportedly started a social network free of advertisements called ‘WT:Social’.

Awards & Achievements

  • In 2005, ‘Harvard Law School’s’ ‘Berkman Centre for Internet and Society’ offered him a fellowship.
  • In 2008, Jimmy Wales was the co-chair at ‘World Economic Forum’ and recipient of ‘The 2008 Global Brand Icon of the Year’ award.
  • In 2011, he received the prestigious ‘Gottlieb Duttweiler Prize' and several honorary degrees from universities in America and abroad.
  • In 2013, he received the ‘UNESCO Niels Bohr Medal’.
  • In 2014, he was the co-recipient of the million-dollar ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Knowledge Award’.\
  • In 2015, he was awarded the ‘Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service’.
  • In 2016, he received the honorary citizenship of the Italian region of Esino Lario.
  • In 2017, he received the ‘President’s Medal’ from the ‘British Academy’ for development of ‘Wikipedia’.

Family & Personal Life

  • In 1986, Jimmy Wales married Pamela Green in Alabama who worked with him at a grocery store during his college years. In 1993, they got a divorce.
  • In 1997, he married Christine Rohan, in Florida, who he met while working in Chicago. They had a daughter together.
  • In 2008, Jimmy and Christine got divorced and he had a short relationship with a political columnist, Rachel Marsden, that year.
  • In 2012, he married his third wife, Kate Garvey, in London. They met at Davos, Switzerland. They have two daughters. He currently lives in London with his family.


  • Despite it being expensive for his family, he studied at Randolph School and has said 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 the UNESCO Niels Bohr Medal in Copenhagen, Denmark on December 5, 2013.
  • He has stated that he is “a strong supporter of Israel”.
  • Jimmy Wales was awarded the President’s Medal of the British Academy in September 2017 “for facilitating the spread of information via his work creating and developing Wikipedia, the world’s largest free online encyclopedia”.
  • In 2019, he became a British citizen.
  • After reading Timothy Ferriss’ book The 4-Hour Workweek, Wales secretly moved to Argentina for a month.
  • He is a passionate chef.