Mark Zuckerberg was born in White Plains, New York on May 14, 1984. He became interested in computers around the age of 12 and used Atari BASIC to create a messaging program he named “Zucknet.” His father, who was a dentist, used the program in his office to allow his receptionist to notify him when new patients arrived. Zuckerberg’s family also used the program inside the house to communicate with each other.
Zuckerberg also created games out of drawings done by his friends, and in an attempt to strengthen their child’s knowledge, his parents hired private computer tutor David Newman. While in high school, Zuckerberg created an early version of Pandora, a music software, which he named Synapse. He turned down offers to buy the software as well as employment opportunities with companies such as AOL and Microsoft.
In 2002, Zuckerberg enrolled at Harvard University, and by his sophomore year, he had become the go-to software developer on campus. It was during this time that Zuckerberg developed the programs that served as precursors to the internationally known social media site Facebook. These programs were CourseMatch, which allowed students to pick classes based on the classes other users had picked, and Facemash, which allowed users to vote between the attractiveness of two student’s pictures.