Thursday, December 23, 2010

TIME's 'Person of the Year' - Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

He has already become one of the richest and most generous men on the planet.

Now Mark Zuckerberg has gone one better and become the most influential of them all after being named TIME magazine's 'Person of the Year'.

The 26-year-old became the second-youngest person ever to receive the award due to the impact of Facebook, the social networking website he founded.

Read the TIME essay explaining "Why We Chose Him."

The annual Person of the Year award is a staple of American journalism. Others considered for the honor this year were Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the trapped Chilean miners, the Tea Party movement in the United States, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Film-goers got a taste of Zuckerberg and the early days of the site in this year's movie, "The Social Network."

Zuckerberg grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York, and graduated from high school at Phillips Exeter Academy.

There, he studied Latin and became a fan of the classics. At Harvard University, which he attended for two years before dropping out to pursue Facebook, Zuckerberg "was known for reciting lines from epic poems such as "The Iliad,'" writes Jessica Vascellaro in The Wall Street Journal.

From Shakira to "ending desire," the interests Zuckerberg has listed on his private Facebook page are certainly unexpected. Among the others are "Eliminating Desire, Minimalism, Making Things, Breaking Things, Information flow, Revolutions, Openness."

His favorite musicians include Daft Punk and Lady Gaga.

Among his favorite TV shows, he lists "The West Wing," which, as The New Yorker's profile of Zuckerberg points out, was written by Aaron Sorkin, who wrote the screenplay for "The Social Network."

Friends and co-workers call him "Zuck." But Zuckerberg has earned other nicknames, too. The Wall Street Journal says his mom used to call him "Princely" when he was young. When he joined the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at Harvard, his friends took to calling him "Slayer," writes Rebecca Davis O'Brien, who attended Harvard with Zuckerberg and wrote a piece about him in The Daily Beast.

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