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Jimmy Wales

founder, Wikipedia

Jimmy Wales is the Internet entrepreneur who led the creation of the online encyclopedia known as Wikipedia. Wales worked as a research director for Chicago Options Associates before becoming a co-founder (with Tim Shell) of the successful website Bomis.com in 1996. Wales used profits from Bomis.com to start an online encyclopedia, Nupedia, which led in 2001 to the creation of Wikipedia -- a free online encyclopedia which allowed anyone to create new entries or edit existing entries. As Wikipedia grew in prominence, so did Wales: *Time* magazine named him one of its 100 most influential people of 2006. Wales turned control of Wikipedia over to Wikimedia, a non-profit organization, in 2003. He remains head of a separate for-profit company, Wikia Inc., which hosts in-depth "wiki" web pages on various topics.