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Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales, is an American Internet entrepreneur best known for founding Wikipedia.org, as well as other wiki-related organizations, including the charitable organization Wikimedia Foundation, and the for-profit company Wikia, Inc.
Wales received his Bachelor's degree in finance from Auburn University and his Master's in finance from University of Alabama. He was appointed a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School in 2005 and in 2006, he joined the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization Creative Commons.
In January of 2001, Wales started Wikipedia.org, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit and today Wikipedia and its sister projects are among the top-five most visited sites on the web (comScore, January 2009). In mid-2003, Wales set up the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization based in St. Petersburg, Florida, to support Wikipedia.org. The Foundation, now based in downtown San Francisco, boasts a staff of close to thirty focusing on fundraising, technology, and programming relating to the expansion of Wikipedia. Wales now sits on the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, and as founder continues to act as a key spokesperson.
In 2004, Wales co-founded Wikia, Inc., a for-profit company that enables groups of people to share information and opinions that fall outside the scope of an encyclopedia. Wikia’s community-created wikis range from video games and movies to finance and environmental issues. Wikia, Inc., attracts more than 30 million unique visitors per month to its 10,000+ enthusiast communities.
In 2007, The World Economic Forum recognized Wales as one of the “Young Global Leaders.” This prestigious award acknowledges the top 250 young leaders for their professional accomplishments, their commitment to society and their potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. In addition, Wales received the “Time 100 Award” in 2006, as he was named one of the world’s most influential people in the “Scientists & Thinkers” category.