Who’d have imagined that two young adults in their twenties would create a magical place on the internet where we can find everything under the sun, from our favourite movies to learn to all the information about history, science, and even find out what’s happening around us within a few minutes or sometimes seconds? On September 15, 1997, Sergey Brin and Larry Page registered Google.com. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is an engineering-focused company, as evidenced by its breakthrough products. Today, Google has become the backbone of our digital existence, and we can’t picture a day without it.
Name: Sergey Brin
Date of Birth: August 21, 1973
Net Worth: $102.6 Billion (as of August 2023)
Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin is the Co-founder of Google and Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google. Born to a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland (father) and a researcher at NASA (mother), it seems rather obvious today that Brin was destined to have a passion for technology, solving problems and building innovative products. On his 50th birthday today, we bring a few interesting yet less-known facts about Sergey Brin.
- In May 1993, Brin received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland with high honours in Mathematics and honours in Computer Science. In September 1993, he enrolled at Stanford University to study computer science. In August 1995, Brin was awarded the Master of Science.
- Sergey Brin met Larry Page for the first time in 1995 at Stanford University. Brin had volunteered as a tour guide for the potential first-year students who had been admitted, but were still deciding whether to attend. Brin’s crew included Page, an engineering major from the University of Michigan. Initially, they appeared to differ on most subjects, but after spending time together, they became intellectual soul mates and good friends.
- In 1996, as part of a Stanford research project, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a search engine, “BackRub” (the predecessor to the Google search engine), named for its unique ability to analyze the “back links” pointing to a given website. They also developed the PageRank algorithm, which later became Google’s core search algorithm, which orders sites in search results based on the number of other websites that link to them. Later, they came up with a new name Google (after Googol) and registered the domain name on September 15, 1997.
- Brin was also responsible for GoogleX and Special Projects, divisions responsible for developing world-changing technology like driverless cars.
- In December 2019, Sergey Brin stepped down as president of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, but remains a controller shareholder and a board member.
- In a 2000 interview with the Academy of Achievement nonprofit, Brin revealed two of his favourite books that have influenced him – “Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!” by Richard P. Feynman and “Snow Crash” by Neal Stephenson.
- In 2002, Brin was recognised as one of the top 100 innovators under the age of 35 in the MIT Technology Review TR100. In 2004, Sergey Brin and Larry Page were elected “Fellows of the Marconi Foundation” at Columbia University after receiving the Marconi Foundation Prize, the “Highest Award in Engineering”. In 2004, Brin and Larry Page received the Golden Plate Award by the American Academy of Achievement.
- In August 2013, Brin and his wife, Anne Wojcicki, started living separately following reports of Brin’s extramarital involvement with Amanda Rosenberg, who was the marketing director for Google Glass at the time. Their divorce was finalised in June 2015. In 2018, Sergey Brin married Nicole Shanahan, a lawyer and founder of a legal-tech startup ClearAccessIP. However, their marriage encountered difficulties, and they separated on December 15, 2021. Subsequently, Brin filed for divorce on January 4, 2022.
- Few people know that Sergey Brin was an early investor in Tesla Motors (now known as Tesla Inc.), owned by Elon Musk.
- In 2004, Sergey Brin, at the age of 31, was the youngest member of the Forbes 400 richest people in the world. In November 2009, Sergey Brin and Larry Page were named the 5th most powerful people in the world by Forbes.
- Sergey Brin was ranked 9th on the list of Forbes Billionaires 2021 and 14th in 2023, with an estimated net worth of $76 billion.
- Between 2000 and 2017, Brin donated $2.2 billion through his Brin Wojcicki Foundation and the Sergey Brin Family Foundation, primarily to fund Parkinson’s research and underserved populations. In 2011, Sergey Brin contributed $500,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia through the Brin Wojcicki Foundation. In 2013, Sergey Brin and his then-wife, Anna Wojcicki, contributed $50 million to the Michael J. Fox Foundation as part of the Brin Wojcicki Challenge to battle Parkinson’s disease. In 2018, he contributed about $1 million to the University of Maryland for computer-science education.
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Disclaimer: The article is a part of the B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from across Industries, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayer, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, and Julian Assange, by following this link or subscribing to your daily newsletter.
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