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30 Most Interesting Facts About Pierre Omidyar We Bet You Never Knew

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Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, became world renowned when he made his first billion at the age of just 31, through the eBay's 1998 initial public offering (IPO). Hem along with his wife, is famous for his contributions through Omidyar Network, to various social causes. Here are some little known things about the American billionaire entrepreneur:

  1.  He launched an online investigative reporting news service, Honolulu Civil Beat, which is known to cover civic affairs in Hawaii, in the year 2010.
  2.  He has been the head of investigative reporting and public affairs of Honolulu Civil Beat, since the year 2010. The site has been named Best News Website in Hawaii for three consecutive years.
  3.  He, through the Honolulu Civil Beat, started a partnership with The Huffington Post, launching the weblog's latest regional addition, HuffPost Hawaii, on September 4, 2013.
  4.  He was named by the Richtopia magazine as the Third Most Influential French Entrepreneur, in their list of Most Influential People, in the year 2018.
  5.  Omidyar is a major donor to Democratic Party candidates and organizations.
  6.  He and his wife established the Omidyar Network in the year 2004, and have committed more than $992 million to nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies.
  7.  He is said to have been slowly whittling down his stakes in both eBay and its former subsidiary PayPal. He reportedly still owns about 7 percent of eBay.
  8.  He launched a venture capital firm, Omidyar Technology Ventures, without much announcement, in March 2016, which he is solely funding.
  9.  In the year 2017, he launched the Press Freedom Defense Fund to financially support journalists and their sources in legal battles because of their reporting.
  10.  He and his wife established, along with Richard Branson and the Nduna Foundation (founded by Amy Robbins), Enterprise Zimbabwe, in the year 2010.
  11.  Through his Omidyar Network, he has invested in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic, social, and political change.
  12.  Pierre Morad Omidyar was born on June 21, 1967, in Paris, to Iranian parents who migrated to France for higher education.
  13.  His father Cyrus Omidyar is a surgeon who worked as a urologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and is now practicing in Aliso Viejo, California.
  14.  His mother, who did her doctorate in linguistics at the Sorbonne, is an academic.
  15.  He was first given the name of Parviz, and when he was a child, the family moved to the United States, due to his father's work.
  16.  It was reported that he became interested in computers while he was a ninth-grade student at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia.
  17.  In the year 1984, he graduated from St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Potomac, Maryland, before earning a bachelor's degree in computer science from Tufts University in Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts in 1988.
  18.  While studying at Tufts University in Medford/Somerville, Massachusetts, he also simultaneously studied at the University of California, Berkeley.
  19.  Following his graduation, he went to work for Claris, an Apple Computer subsidiary, where he worked on the team that upgraded MacDraw to MacDraw II.
  20.  He is the co-founder of Ink Development, a pen-based computing startup that later was rebranded as an e-commerce company and was renamed eShop Inc., in the year 1991.
  21.  He is said to co-own resort properties in southern California and Mexico and is developing real estate in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
  22.  He is the founder of First Look Media, the parent company of online news site The Intercept and the entertainment company Topic Studios. This move was reportedly prompted by the Edward Snowden leaks.
  23.  He made a total of $1 million when Microsoft acquired eShop on June 11, 1996 for less than $50 million.
  24.  At the age of 28, he started writing the original computer code for an online venue to enable the listing of a direct person-to-person auction for collectible items in the year 1995.
  25.  After a simple prototype on his personal web page, he launched an online service called Auction Web on Labor Day, Monday, September 4, 1995. This eventually became the auction site eBay.
  26.  The first item sold on the eBay website, was a broken laser pointer. He was astonished that anyone would pay for the device in its broken state, but the buyer assured him that he was deliberately collecting broken laser pointers.
  27.  Within just nine months from the incorporation of eBay enterprise, the revenue from the site, is said to have outstripped his salary at General Magic, and he decided to dedicate his full attention to his new enterprise.
  28.  The name "eBay" was the second choice that Omidyar wanted for the website, as he originally wanted the "Echo Bay" name because of the recreational area near Lake Mead, Nevada because it "sounded cool."
  29.  It is reported that the frequently repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager in the year 1997 to interest the media, which was later confirmed by eBay.
  30.  eBay launched a successful public offering in September 1998, making both Omidyar and Jeff Skoll, the first full-time employee and the president of the company, billionaires.
  31.  Pierre Omidyar Net Worth: $12.8 Billion

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