Jimmy Wales

Wikipedia co-founder and American Internet entrepreneur

Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales (/ˈdnəl ˈwlz/; born August 7, 1966[1]) is an American-born British Internet entrepreneur. He is one of the people who started Wikipedia and Wikia.[2][3] Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, United States. There, he went to Randolph School. He then earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance. In 1996, he and two partners started Bomis. Bomis was an Internet portal with entertainment and adult content. The company gave money for Nupedia (2000–2003) and, after that, Wikipedia.

Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales - August 2019 (cropped).jpg
Jimmy Wales in August 2019
Jimmy Donal Wales

(1966-08-07) August 7, 1966 (age 55)[note]
NationalityUnited Kingdom
Other namesJimbo (online nickname)
Alma materAuburn University
University of Alabama
Indiana University Bloomington
OccupationInternet entrepreneur
Known forCo-founding Wikipedia
TitlePresident of Wikia, Inc. (2004–present)
Chairman, Wikimedia Foundation (June 2003 – October 2006)
Chairman Emeritus, Wikimedia Foundation (October 2006-present)
SuccessorFlorence Devouard
Board member ofWikimedia Foundation, Creative Commons, Socialtext, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (advisory board)
AwardsEFF Pioneer Award (2006), The Economist's Business Process Award (2008), The Global Brand Icon of the Year Award (2008)
WebsitePersonal weblog
English Wikipedia userpage

Personal lifeEdit

Jimmy Wales with his second wife Christine

Wales has been married three times. He also has two children.[4][5] When he was 20, Wales married Pam.[5] Pam was a worker at a store in Alabama.[5] He met his second wife, Christine Rohan, through a friend in Chicago.[4] They had a daughter before their marriage ended. Wales moved to San Diego in 1998. In 2002, he moved again to Florida.[6] In 2007, he still lived there.[7] As of 2012 he lives in London, England.[8] In 2012, Wales married Kate Garvey, a government worker for Tony Blair.[9] Wales has three daughters: one with Rohan and two with Garvey.[10]

Wales says that he follows the ideas of Objectivism. He also says that he is a libertarian to some extent, meaning that he thinks people should be allowed to do whatever they want so long as they do not hurt others.


On January 15, 2001, with Larry Sanger and others, Wales started Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a free, open content encyclopedia. It grew and became popular very quickly. As Wikipedia became known to the public, he became the project’s promoter and spokesperson. He is often called a co-founder of Wikipedia, though he has argued against the "co-" part. He said he was the only founder.[11][12] Wales is on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. In 2004, he co-founded Wikia, a wiki-hosting service which tries to make money. In 2015, Wales started the Jimmy Wales Foundation for freedom of expression, to try to help bloggers or internet activists who are in prison.[13]


    • Horovitz, David (2011-07-01). "Jimmy Wales's benevolent Wikipedia wisdom". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
    • "Jimmy Wales". Monroe, Florida's County Clerk website (Marriage License Database). Retrieved 2008-05-21.
    • editor, Clifford Thompson... (February 28, 2007). Current Biography Yearbook. H. W. Wilson. ISBN 978-0-8242-10748. Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help)CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
    • Who's Who In America: Diamond Edition (60th ed.). Marquis Who's Who. October 12, 2005. ISBN 978-0-8379-69909.
  1. "Wikipedia: 50 languages, 1/2 million articles". Wikimedia Foundation Press Release. Wikimedia Foundation. 2004-04-25. Retrieved 2009-04-10. "The Wikipedia project was founded in January 2001 by Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and philosopher Larry Sanger," quoted from the April 25th, 2004 first-ever press release issued by the Wikimedia Foundation.
     •"Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, reaches its 100,000th article". Wikipedia Press Release. Wikipedia. 2003-01-21. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
  2. "Brain scan: The free-knowledge fundamentalist". Technology Quarterly. The Economist. 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
  3. 4.0 4.1 "Q & A". q-and-a.org. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  4. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Jimmy Wales: Celebrities: Wmagazine.com". wmagazine.com. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  5. "Business & Technology: He's the "God-King," but you can call him Jimbo". seattletimes.nwsource.com. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  6. "Jimmy Wales - Wikipedia - New York Times". nytimes.com. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  7. Hough, Stephen (11 Mar 2012). "Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia chief to advise Whitehall on policy". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
  8. Donnelly, Laura (6 October 2012). "Wiki wedding: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales marries Tony Blair's former aide". The Telegraph.
  9. Jaffé-Pearce, Michèle (March 12, 2017). "A life in the day: Jimmy Wales". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved June 8, 2018. He lives in west London with his third wife, Kate Garvey, a former aide to Tony Blair, and daughters Ada, 5, and Jemima, 3. Kira, 16, his daughter with his second wife, lives in Florida.
  10. Bergstein, Brian (March 25, 2007). "Sanger says he co-started Wikipedia". MSNBC. Associated Press. Retrieved March 26, 2007. The nascent Web encyclopedia Citizendium springs from Larry Sanger, a philosophy Ph.D. who counts himself as a co-founder of Wikipedia, the site he now hopes to usurp. The claim does not seem particularly controversial—Sanger has long been cited as a co-founder. Yet the other founder, Jimmy Wales, is not happy about it.
  11. Olson, Parmy (October 18, 2006). "A New Kid On The Wiki Block". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
  12. "Jimmy Wales wants Wikipedia to change the world, again". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com.