JW
Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Donal Wales is an American-British Internet entrepreneur and former financial trader. He is also a co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia, and the for-profit web hosting company Wikia (later renamed to Fandom). Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, where he attended Randolph School, a university-preparatory school. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in finance from Auburn University and the University of Alabama respectively. In graduate school, Wales taught at two universities; however, he departed before completing a PhD 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 web portal featuring entertainment and adult content. Bomis provided the initial funding for the free peer-reviewed encyclopedia, Nupedia (2000–2003), and its successor, Wikipedia. On January 15, 2001, with Larry Sanger and others, Wales launched Wikipedia—a free, open-content encyclopedia that enjoyed rapid growth and popularity. As Wikipedia's public profile grew, he became its promoter and spokesman. Though he is historically credited as co-founder, he has disputed this, declaring himself the sole founder.Wales serves on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, the charity that he helped establish to operate Wikipedia, holding its board-appointed "community founder" seat. For his role in creating Wikipedia, which has become the world's largest encyclopedia, Time named him one of "The 100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2006.
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