Steve Job was born on February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California. As an infant, Steven was adopted by Clara and Paul Jobs and named Steven Paul Jobs. As a boy, Jobs and his father would work on electronics in the family garage. Paul would show his son how to take apart and reconstruct electronics.
While Jobs had always been an intelligent and innovative thinker, his youth was riddled with frustrations over formal schooling.
In 1974, Jobs took a position as a video game designer with Atari. In 1976, when Jobs was just 21, he and Wozniak started Apple Computers. The duo started in the Jobs family garage.
Jobs is credited with revolutionizing the computer industry by democratizing the technology and making the machines smaller, cheaper, intuitive and accessible to everyday consumers. Apple introduced such revolutionary products as the Macbook Air, iPod, iPad and iPhone, all of which have dictated the evolution of modern technology.
In 1985, Jobs resigned as Apple's CEO to begin a new hardware and software company called NeXT, Inc. The following year Jobs purchased an animation company from George Lucas, which later became Pixar Animation Studios.
In 2003, Jobs discovered that he had a tumor, a rare but operable form of pancreatic cancer. On October 5, 2011, Apple Inc. announced that its co-founder had passed away. After battling pancreatic cancer for nearly a decade, Steve Jobs died in Palo Alto. He was 56 years old.
Born on October 28, 1955, Gates and his two sisters grew up in Seattle. Gates attended public elementary school and the private Lakeside School. There, he discovered his interest in software and began programming computers at the age of 13.
In 1973, Gates entered Harvard University. While at Harvard, Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer.
In his junior year, Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers.
In addition to his love of computers and software, Gates is interested in biotechnology. He sits on the board of ICOS, a company that specializes in protein-based and small-molecule therapeutics, and he is an investor in a number of other biotechnology companies.
Philanthropy is also important to Gates. He and his wife, Melinda, have endowed a foundation with more than $21 billion to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning, with the hope that as we move into the 21st century, advances in these critical areas will be available for all people.
Gates was married on Jan. 1, 1994, to Melinda French Gates. The couple has two children: a daughter, Jennifer Katharine Gates, born in 1996; and a son, Rory John Gates, born in 1999.
Mark Elliot Zuckerberg was born on May 14, 1984 in Dobbs Ferry, New York, into a comfortable, well-educated family.
Zuckerberg developed an interest in computers at an early age; when he was about 12, he used Atari BASIC to create a messaging program he named "Zucknet."
In 2002 Zuckerberg enrolled at Harvard University. He developed a reputation as the go-to software developer on campus. Based on the buzz of his previous projects, three of his fellow students—Divya Narendra, and twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss—sought him out to work on an idea for a social networking site they called Harvard Connection.
This site was designed to use information from Harvard's student networks in order to create a dating site for the Harvard elite. Zuckerberg agreed to help with the project, but soon dropped out to work on his own social networking site with friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes and Eduardo Saverin.
Zuckerberg and his friends created a site that allowed users to create their own profiles, upload photos, and communicate with other users. The group ran the site—first called The Facebook—out of a dorm room at Harvard until June 2004. After his sophomore year, Zuckerberg dropped out of college to devote himself to Facebook full time, moving the company to Palo Alto, California. By the end of 2004, Facebook had 1 million users.
Born November 19, 1976, Jack Dorsey is best known as the creator of Twitter. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. Dorsey became interested in computers and communications at an early age and began programming while still a student at high school. He was fascinated by the technological challenge of coordinating taxi drivers, delivery vans and other fleets of vehicles that needed to remain in constant, real-time communication with one another.
Dorsey moved to Oakland, California, and in 2000 started a company offering his software through the Web. Shortly after starting his company, Dorsey came up with the following idea: 'What if you could share your status with all your friends really easily, so they know what you're doing?'
Dorsey started a new company, called Obvious, which later evolved into Twitter. Within two weeks, Dorsey had built a simple site where users could instantly post short messages of 140 characters or less, known in Twitter parlance as "tweets."
By 2010, Twitter had more than 105 million users who together tweeted some 55 million times a day. Jack Dorsey, however, had set his sights on other projects. He became an investor in the social networking company Foursquare and launched a new venture, Square, which allows people to receive credit card payments through a tiny device plugged in to their mobile phone or computer.