Wondering what is the net worth of Jimmy Wales? Check out here, his net worth, career and more.
Jimmy Donal Wales also called by his pseudonym Jimbo is a US-based British webmaster and Internet entrepreneur. Formerly, he was also into financial trading.
He is credited with the co-founding of Wikipedia, the online non-profit encyclopedia. He also founded Wikia, the web hosting company which was later named as fandom.
Wales was born on August 7, 1966, in Huntsville, Alabama. He went to Randolph School and later attended Auburn University and the University of Alabama in succession to receive his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance.
Initially, Wales taught at two universities and later landed on a job in finance. He too worked at the Chicago futures and options firm as its research director.
How much is the net worth of Jimmy Wales?
Jimmy Wales’s current net worth is estimated at $1.5 million. He is a US-based British webmaster and Internet entrepreneur. Jimmy Donal Wales was also called by his pseudonym Jimbo.
In 1996, Wales founded a web portal called Bomis along with two partners, focused mainly on adult content. Between 2000 and 2003, Bomis supported the funding of Nupedia, a peer-reviewed encyclopedia.
Wales launched Wikipedia on January 15, 2001, with Larry Sanger and a few others. This was an open-content encyclopedia offered for free, which received phenomenal popularity and growth.
With the growth of the web portal’s public popularity, Jimmy became its spokesperson and promoter. Though history identifies him as the co-founder of Wikipedia, he claims he is the sole founder of this web portal and declared the same.
Wales is seen on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, which is a charity that facilitated its operation. Wales holds the seat of “community founder” as appointed by the board.
In recognizing his invaluable role in creating Wikipedia, the world’s largest free encyclopedia, in 2006 Times listed him among “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”.
Net Worth of Jimmy Wales: Quick Summary
|Name||Jimmy Donal Wales|
|Popular Names||Jimmy Wales, Jimbo|
|Birth Date||August 7, 1966|
|Birth Place||Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.|
|Career Roles||Webmaster, Internet Entrepreneur, and formerly Financial Trader|
|Net Worth||$1.5 million|
|Official titles||Chair of Wikimedia Foundation (2003 to 2006)President of Fandom, Inc. (2004 to present)Chair emeritus of Wikimedia Foundation (2006 to present)|
|Board Member In||Wikimedia FoundationCreative CommonsSunlight Foundation (Till September 2020)MIT Center for Collective IntelligenceGuardian Media Group (Till April 2017)|
|Facebook Account||25K followers|
|Twitter Account||167.9K followers|
Net Worth of Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales is credited with a net worth of $1.5 million in 2022. Industry experts are of the opinion that he could have made a lot more wealth than this if he was prepared to twist the strategy that Wikipedia adopted.
If he had chosen not to offer Wikipedia as a non-profit web portal and accepted even basic banner ads, he could have earned over $10 billion. On the other hand, Jimmy has not even become a millionaire in 2013, when the New York Times interviewed him.
In the said interview centered on the lost billions, Wales said, “It rarely crosses my mind. Reporters ask me all the time and expect me to say: ‘I’m heartbroken.
Where’re my billion dollars?’ There are car dealers in Ohio who have more money than I’ll ever have, and their jobs are much, much less interesting than mine.”
When asked about his salary, Jimmy tweeted in 2019 saying he made $0 as salary from Wikimedia Foundation during its entire history.
Career highlights Of Jimmy Wales
Wales’s career started in 1994 with Chicago Options Associates, which was an options trading firm based in Chicago. Even as a student at the school, Wales had a keen interest in computer coding, computer networks and computer games.
Pushed by his passions, Jimmy left the job with financials and joined two partners in 1996 to develop a web portal Bomis, a website focused on adult content and a “guy-oriented search engine”.
Bomis did not turn out to be successful, but it gave several useful insights and experiences for Wales to land on an online encyclopedia. Thus, Wales co-founded Nupedia in 2000 along with Larry Sanger.
Initially, they intended this venture to be an open content peer-reviewed online encyclopedia. Wales had an objective that several volunteering experts would write articles eventually reviewed by hundreds of other experts on a volunteering basis to publish articles of professional quality comparable to top-rated print encyclopedias.
Initially, they had too long processes for submission and review which made Nupedia’s development limp rather slowly.
After he consulted a renowned programmer Ben Kovitz, Sanger suggested a new wiki model that would allow editors to make their content contribution not only simultaneously, but also incrementally.
However, the experts already working with Nupedia were not in favor of this model as they feared that this would result only in amateur quality work; the wiki model eventually thrived and flourished.
Sanger called this web portal ‘Wikipedia’ and very soon after its launch, the number of articles on this site swelled exponentially, quickly overtaking that of Nupedia.
The original idea for Wikipedia was contributed by Wales, though the initial years of its development was brainstormed and guided by Sanger. During the initial stage of its development, Wales’s first venture Bomis was funding Wikipedia.
Sanger served as the editor-in-chief of Wikipedia until 2002 when he resigned from his position. After this phase, a disagreement sprang up between Wales and Sanger on who founded and co-founded Wikipedia since Wales had declared that he was the sole founder of the web portal.
In 2003, Wales created the non-profit organization Wikipedia Foundation, which manages the intellectual property issues and the domain rights of Wikipedia. In 2004, Wales launched a for-profit venture known as Wikia.
Its format was a kind of wiki farm, hosting assortments of individual wikis on several interesting topics such as “Harry Potter” or “Star Wars”. Wikia also launched a search engine which was intended to rival Google.
During the 2010s, Wales got entangled in politics, especially with regard to topics like privacy and Internet freedom. Once he also testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs stressing on the advantages of Internet technology.
He vehemently criticized the ruling issued by the 2014 European Court of Justice providing rights to individuals to ask Google to remove any information published about them online. He had been criticizing the policies of both the US and UK politics.
Awards and Honors of Jimmy Wales
Wales is the recipient of several awards and honors in his life. He formerly co-chaired the World Economic Forum on the Middle East besides serving on several boards in the field of Internet and technology-related subjects at Harvard Law School and MIT.
In 2014, Wales received the Doctorate Honoris Causa awarded by the Faculty of Communication Sciences of USI Lugano University. Jimmy also got two other honorary degrees awarded by Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland and Maastricht University.
In 2017, Wales’s contribution to the development of Wikipedia won him the President’s Medal of the British Academy.
Jimmy Wales’s Controversies
After Sanger resigned from the designation of editor-in-chief of Wikipedia, Wales had been claiming that he was the sole founder of Wikipedia, publicly disputing the designation of Sanger as the co-founder.
As early as September 2001, Sanger and Wales were talked of as the co-founders of Wikipedia as evident in the press release of The New York Times.
In January 2002, the first press release of Wikipedia had mentioned both of them as its founders. In fact, Wales himself had earlier identified himself as Wikipedia’s co-founder.
In responding to Wales’s claim, Sanger posted a collection of links on his webpage that would confirm Sanger and Wales’s status as the co-founders of Wikipedia, which also contained links to earlier citations and press releases.
However, The Boston Globe quoted Wales when he said the statements of Sanger were “preposterous” and brushed aside the “the whole debate” as “silly” in an interview recorded in April 2009.
Going a step further, Wales told The New York Times that the whole thing was about “the dumbest controversy in the history of the world”.In 2005, Wales attempted some edits to his personal biography on the English Wikipedia removing references to Sanger as Wikipedia’s co-founder.
Sanger later said, “Having seen edits like this, it does seem that Jimmy is attempting to rewrite history. But this is a futile process because in our brave new world of transparent activity and maximum communication, the truth will out.”
Wales argued that his edits were intended to improve the content’s accuracy, however apologizing for editing his biography as Wikipedia discourages such acts.