Jimmy Donal "Jimbo" Wales is an Internet entrepreneur and a wiki enthusiast.
Wales was born in Huntsville, Alabama, and is a graduate of Auburn University
and the University of Alabama. He worked as a professional futures and options
trader in Chicago. He also admires the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand, and
while in graduate school owned and moderated an Internet mailing list known as
the "Moderated Discussion of Objectivist Philosophy." In the mid-1990s Wales
started Bomis, a search portal focusing on aspects of pop culture, which also
sells original content, and Wikia, a wiki-style search engine.
With Larry Sanger, Wales founded Wikipedia, a wiki-based online encyclopedia
derived from the open source model. He and Sanger had previously worked on the
now-defunct Nupedia encyclopedia project. Wales is currently the director of
the Wikimedia Foundation, a Tampa-based non-profit organization that
encompasses Wikipedia and its younger sister projects. As such, he is
Wikipedia's designated agent and is humorously known as its "benevolent
dictator". According to the Herald Sun, an Australian newspaper, as of mid-2003
Wales has spent over AU$400,000 on Wikipedia and Nupedia; later, Time Magazine
reported that Wales spent around US$500,000 to establishment and operations of
his Wiki projects.
Wales lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, with his wife Christine and his daughter Kira.