Jimmy Wales

co-founder of Wikipedia (born 1966)

Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales (/ˈdnəl ˈwlz/; born August 7, 1966[3]) is an American-born British Internet entrepreneur. He is one of the people who started Wikipedia and Wikia.[4][5] 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
Wales in August 2019
Jimmy Donal Wales

(1966-08-07) August 7, 1966 (age 57)
Other namesJimbo (screen name)[1]
OccupationsInternet entrepreneur, webmaster, financial trader (formerly)
SuccessorFlorence Devouard (as Chair of Wikimedia Foundation)
Board member of
Pamela Green
(m. 1986; div. 1993)

Christine Rohan
(m. 1997; div. 2011)

(m. 2012)
Children3 daughters
AwardsSee below
Websitejimmywales.com Edit this at Wikidata

Personal life

Jimmy Wales with his second wife Christine

Wales has been married three times. He also has three children. Jimmy is of Jewish ancestry[6][7] When he was 20, Wales married Pam.[7] Pam was a worker at a store in Alabama.[7] He met his second wife, Christine Rohan, through a friend in Chicago.[6] They had a daughter before their marriage ended. Wales moved to San Diego in 1998. In 2002, he moved again to Florida.[8] In 2007, he still lived there.[9] As of 2012 he lives in London, England.[10] In 2012, Wales married Kate Garvey, a government worker for Tony Blair.[11] Wales has three daughters: one with Rohan and two with Garvey.[12]

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.[13][14] 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.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Garside, Juliette (August 3, 2014). "Jimmy Wales: digital champion of free speech". The Observer. London. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  2. Williams, Christopher (April 25, 2017). "Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales exits Guardian board over conflict of interest with Wikitribune news site". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235.
  3. * Horovitz, David (July 1, 2011). "Jimmy Wales's benevolent Wikipedia wisdom". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved December 12, 2011.
  4. "Wikipedia: 50 languages, 1/2 million articles". Wikimedia Foundation Press Release. Wikimedia Foundation. April 25, 2004. Retrieved April 10, 2009. "The Wikipedia project was founded in January 2001 by Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales and philosopher Larry Sanger," quoted from the April 25, 2004 first-ever press release issued by the Wikimedia Foundation.
     •"Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, reaches its 100,000th article". Wikipedia Press Release. Wikipedia. January 21, 2003. Retrieved April 10, 2009.
  5. "Brain scan: The free-knowledge fundamentalist". Technology Quarterly. June 5, 2008. Retrieved June 9, 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Q & A". q-and-a.org. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Jimmy Wales: Celebrities: Wmagazine.com". wmagazine.com. Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  8. "Business & Technology: He's the "God-King," but you can call him Jimbo". seattletimes.nwsource.com. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  9. "Jimmy Wales - Wikipedia - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved May 20, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  10. Hough, Stephen (March 11, 2012). "Jimmy Wales: Wikipedia chief to advise Whitehall on policy". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  11. Donnelly, Laura (October 6, 2012). "Wiki wedding: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales marries Tony Blair's former aide". The Telegraph.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Olson, Parmy (October 18, 2006). "A New Kid On The Wiki Block". Forbes. Archived from the original on December 6, 2012. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  15. "Jimmy Wales wants Wikipedia to change the world, again". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com.