Jimmy Wales Net Worth: How Rich Is He Actually?

Last Updated on November 24, 2021 by Tynisha Hirsch

Jimmy Wales is a famous American businessman with a current net worth of around $1,500,000.

Jimmy Wales is an American-British person who co-founded Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

Early life

Jimmy Wales was born on August 7, 1966, in Huntsville, Alabama. His dad worked at the grocery store and his mom ran a private school called the House of Learning. He went to this school along with his 3 siblings.

Throughout his childhood, Wales loved reading. He started to notice that encyclopedias were missing a lot of information too. His parents made sure he went to school and when he was in 8th grade, went to Randolph School. This school is expensive but his family values education.

Jimmy Wales was able to get a degree from Auburn University when he was 16. He also did get his bachelor’s degree in finance at Auburn. But he left to get a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama. He got it, but never finished his dissertation.


Jimmy Wales used to work at a company called Chicago Options Associates. He liked computers and games. One day, he left his job because he wanted to make something on the internet. He made Bomis with two other people in 1996.

Bomis was not successful, but Wales got time to work on another idea. He started an online encyclopedia, called Nupedia. Many people wrote articles for this encyclopedia and then many other people reviewed the quality of these articles to see if they were good enough to put into the encyclopedia.

Nupedia was slow to develop because it had a long submission process. But they were not getting good content. Sanger met Ben Kovitz, who suggested they use the wiki model. Nupedia editors did not want to do it, but Wikipedia was successful because of this change.

Wikipedia started in the early years with Jimmy Wales. The original idea came from him. When he first started the company, Bomis, it helped fund Wikipedia for some time. Sanger was editor-in-chief until 2002 when he quit.

Wales and Sanger disagreed on who had more rights to be called founder or co-founder of Wikipedia, but then Wales said that he was the official founder because Sanger left before any start-up money ran out.

In 2003, Wales set up the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit organization that handles intellectual property and domain names related to Wikipedia. In 2004, Wales founded the for-profit company Wikia. Wikia is a group of wikis on different topics like “Star Wars” or “Harry Potter.” This also offers a search engine to rival Google.

Wales has become involved in politics, especially in the 2010s. He testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs about how great Internet technology is. He also criticized the 2014 court ruling that gave people the right to ask Google to remove information about them. He has been critical of both UK and US politics.

Wales has received many awards in his life. He was the co-chair of the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and also served on boards for Internet and technology at Harvard Law School and MIT.

Wales received an honorary Doctorate Honoris Causa from USI Lugano University, Glasgow Caledonian University, and Maastricht University. In 2017, Wales received an honorary degree from the British Academy for creating Wikipedia.

Personal life

Wales married his co-worker Pamela Green when he was 20. They divorced in 1993 and Wales met his next wife, Christine Rohan, through a friend while they were both living in Chicago. They got married and had a daughter but later separated in 2008.

In 2008, Wales dated conservative columnist Rachel Marsden. But the relationship ended in controversy. It was said to be a conflict of interest because Wales had originally contacted Marsden about her Wikipedia biography.

In 2012, Wales and Kate Garvey got married. They met in Davos, Switzerland. The couple has had two daughters together and they live in London. In 2019, Wales became a British citizen too.

Wales likes to cook and do philosophy. He is also an Objectivist and atheist. This essay, “The Use of Knowledge in Society,” helped him with Wikipedia, so he decided how it should work. He also liked Ayn Rand’s ideas about governments.

What nationality is Jimmy Wales?

Jimmy Wales is American.

Where did Jimmy Wales live?

Jimmy Wales currently lives in Huntsville, Florida.

What did Jimmy Wales invent?

Jimmy Wales cp-founded Wikipedia and Fandom (formerly Wikia).

Does Jimmy Wales have a salary?

Jimmy Wales has not been paid a salary in his job at the Wikimedia Foundation.

How does Jimmy Wales make his money?

Jimmy Wales is an American entrepreneur. He makes money by speaking at events. He also has a company called Wikia that he gets money from.


Jimmy Wales has a net worth of $1.5 million and is an American Internet entrepreneur.

He’s known for co-founding the online encyclopedia Wikipedia in 2001 with Larry Sanger, which relies on free content from volunteers around the world to produce 24 million articles in 287 languages.

In 2003 he was one of the recipients of the Omidyar Award for Social Entrepreneurship from The Foundation Center.

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