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If you like Sergey Brin and Larry Page's story, you might also like:
Timothy Berners-Lee,
Jeff Bezos,
Stephen Case,
Michael Dell,
Lawrence Ellison,
Bill Gates,
Reid Hoffman,
Elizabeth Holmes,
John Hennessy,
Ray Kurzweil
and Pierre Omidyar

Larry Page can also be seen and heard in our Podcast Center

Sergey Brin's recommended reading:
Snow Crash

Related Links:
History of Google
Official Google Bios

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Larry Page
Larry Page
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Larry Page Biography

Founding CEO, Google Inc.

Larry Page Date of birth: March 26, 1973

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  Larry Page

Larry Page Biography Photo
Lawrence Edward Page was born in Lansing, Michigan. His father, Dr. Carl Victor Page, was a professor of computer science and artificial intelligence at Michigan State University, where Lawrence's mother, Gloria, also taught computer programming. The Page family home was full of first-generation personal computers and scientific magazines, and young Larry, as he was called, immersed himself in them. Significantly, his older brother, Carl Page, Jr., also became a successful Internet entrepreneur.

Larry Page attended a Montessori school in the primary grades and later graduated from East Lansing High School. He was an honors student at the University of Michigan, where he also participated in the University's solar car team, reflecting another lifelong interest: sustainable transportation technology. After graduating with a B.S. in computer engineering, he pursued graduate studies in computer science at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. It was here that he first undertook the project of analyzing patterns of linkage among different sites on the World Wide Web. It was also at Stanford that he first met fellow computer science graduate student Sergey Brin and recruited him to join his research project.

Larry Page Biography Photo
The Internet and the World Wide Web were just taking shape as major forces in telecommunication when Larry Page entered Stanford. Larry Page wanted to devise a method for determining the number of Web pages linked to any one given page. Existing facilities for exploring the Web could only rank search results by the frequency of appearance of a given word on any page of the Web. Searches often produced endless lists of Web sites of very little pertinence to the user's query. Page soon found that ranking Web sites by the number of links leading to it from other sites was a far more useful measure of a Web document's relevance to a user's search criteria. To explore the possibilities of his new "PageRank" mechanism more fully, he called on the data mining expertise of his classmate, Sergey Brin.

Sergey Brin was born in Moscow, Russia in 1973. He immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of six and grew up in Adelphi, Maryland. His father, Michael Brin, was a professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland. Like Larry Page, he attended a Montessori school as a small child. He graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School in 1990 and entered the University of Maryland, College Park. In only three years, he graduated with highest honors in mathematics and computer science. He entered graduate school at Stanford University with a graduate fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Larry Page Biography Photo
Brin soon authored more than a dozen papers on data mining and pattern extraction for leading academic journals, including "Extracting Patterns and Relations from the World Wide Web," "Scalable Techniques for Mining Casual Structures," "Dynamic Itemset Counting and Implication Rules for Market Basket Data," and "Beyond Market Baskets: Generalizing Association Rules to Correlations." He also created a Web site for film ratings and designed a software application to translate documents from TeX, the text processing language often used for scientific papers, to HTML (hypertext markup language), the code in which Web pages are written.

Together, Page and Brin wrote the paper "Dynamic Data Mining: A New Architecture for Data with High Dimensionality," and followed it with "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine." The latter paper quickly became one of the most downloaded scientific documents in the history of the Internet. For a time, Page and Brin ran the prototype of their search engine, which they named "BackRub," on an assortment of inexpensive personal computers stored in Larry Page's dorm room. Word quickly spread beyond the walls of Stanford that the two graduate students had created something far more useful than existing search technology.

They registered the domain name in 1997. The domain name was derived from the term "googol," the very large number written as a one followed by 100 zeros, an expression of the vast universe of data the Google search engine was designed to explore. Page and Brin incorporated Google as a privately held company in 1998 and relocated their servers from Larry Page's dorm room to a friend's garage in Menlo Park, California. Having completed their Master's degrees, they took a leave of absence from the Ph.D. program to concentrate on building their business. At first, Larry Page served as the company's CEO, Sergey Brin as its president. Their stated mission was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." After quickly outgrowing a series of office locations, the company leased a complex of buildings in Mountain View, California in 1999. Google has since purchased the entire property, known as the Googleplex, one of the most unusual and innovative workplaces in the world, replete with exercise and recreational facilities.

Larry Page Biography Photo
In 2000, Google began selling text-based advertisements associated with search keywords. The text-only ads on their graphics-free home page kept their download time to the bare minimum, and their ability to deliver ads directly related to the interests of the user made the ad space highly valuable. That same year, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, still enrolled as Ph.D. candidates at Stanford, attended the Academy of Achievement's International Achievement Summit in London, England as graduate student delegates. The interview recorded at that time can be read on this Web site. They returned to the annual event in 2004 as recipients of the Academy's Golden Plate Award.

By 2001, a vast number of once-promising Internet start-ups had folded, but Google was growing explosively and turning a profit. Page and Brin recruited Novell executive Eric Schmidt to serve as CEO, with Larry Page taking the role of President for Products, and Sergey Brin as President for Technology. The three have continued to run the enterprise as a triumvirate ever since. Google's initial public offering in 2004 raised $1.67 billion, giving the company a market capitalization of $23 billion. A number of Google employees with shares in the company became millionaires overnight, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin found themselves multi-billionaires at age 27. Google was an immediate favorite with individual shareholders -- as opposed to institutional investors and mutual funds -- and the stock price has soared. All three top executives -- Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt -- have reduced their annual salaries to a dollar a year and refused bonuses, tying their personal wealth directly to the company's performance in the stock market.

Larry Page Biography Photo
By the end of 2006, Google had over 10,000 employees and annual revenues well over $10 billion. Various estimates place Larry Page and Sergey Brin among the two dozen richest people on earth, and the dozen richest Americans. Despite its enormous growth, Google has largely succeeded in preserving a uniquely informal and creative atmosphere at its Mountain View campus. Google employs a Chief Culture Officer to maintain and develop a creative and collaborative environment. Employees are encouraged to spend 20 percent of their work time on independent projects. As many as half of Google's new products originated in this Innovation Time Off program. In 2007 and 2008, Fortune magazine ranked Google as the best company in the world to work for.

In addition to its in-house product development, Google has also grown through strategic acquisitions of hardware and software companies with innovative video, teleconferencing and social networking products. One of the most dramatic of these was the 2006 purchase of the online video site YouTube for $1.65 billion. Prior to the sale, YouTube's earnings were negligible, but Google quickly turned it into a profit center.

Larry Page Biography Photo
The following year, Google acquired the software company DoubleClick for $3.1 billion. DoubleClick technology directs display advertising to users based on their search behavior. DoubleClick complements the formidable arsenal of technologies that Google has deployed to revolutionize online advertising. AdWords places advertising in third-party Web sites, on a cost-per-click or cost-per-view basis. Google Analytics enables the owners of Web sites to study the traffic to their sites. AdSense allows these owners to display advertising on their sites; they are then paid by the advertisers on a per-click basis. Today 99 percent of Google's revenue is derived from advertising. Users also have the option of purchasing Google Site Search, a service that provides access to the Google index without advertising.

In recent years, Google has introduced a number of popular new services and applications, including a toolbar that allows users to perform searches from their desktops, without visiting the Google Web site. The Web site itself enables searches for video and still imagery as well as text. Google Maps is a popular navigation tool, while Google Earth allows users to access satellite imagery to zoom in on locations all over the world. The most ambitious project of all, Google Book Search, aims to make the contents of vast libraries of books available and searchable online. Google Books offers free access to books that are already in the public domain, while selling digital versions of new books online.

Larry Page Biography Photo
Google also provides a free Web-based e-mail service, Gmail, which offers its users far more storage space than most other services. The company now offers a suite of business tools, including word processing and spreadsheet applications, at a fraction of the cost of competing office software packages. Google has created its own Web browser, Google Chrome, as well as the popular Picasa photo organization and editing software. One of the company's most promising products is an operating system for mobile phones, called Android. It is used in Motorola's Droid phones, as well as Google's own Nexus One phone.

Today, Google is the Internet's most visited Web site, employing more than a million servers around the world to process over a billion search requests every day, accessing an index of trillions of Web pages. There are advertising and engineering offices in New York City, and satellite offices in Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Austin, Boulder, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and on the campus of Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Larry Page Biography Photo
A philanthropic arm,, focuses on climate change and global issues of poverty and public heath. The company has run an online poll to select non-profit initiatives to receive $10 million in donations. One of's principal projects is the development of a 100-mile-a-gallon hybrid automobile. As a company, Google maintains a commitment to environmentally sustainable technology. It has the largest solar power capacity of any corporate campus in the United States, and even the grounds of its green campus are grazed by a flock of goats. Google has negotiated 20-year power contracts with wind farms in Iowa, and in 2010 acquired a 20 percent stake in two wind farms built by NextEra Energy Resources in North Dakota.

Google has consistently supported the principle of "net neutrality" that requires broadband carriers to treat all Web sites equally, but Google spokesmen caution Internet users against unrealistic expectations of online privacy. The future of the Internet, they maintain, will embody a principle of "true transparency, no anonymity." Meanwhile, Google seeks the expansion of broadband access. It provides free wireless broadband service throughout the city of Mountain View, and is exploring the possibility of expanding to other cities.

In 2011, Eric Schmidt stepped aside as CEO of Google, and Larry Page, now 38 years old, took the helm of the company he founded 13 years before. Schmidt remains with the company as Executive Chairman. As Google's new CEO, Larry Page plans to make Google "a big company that has the nimbleness and soul and passion of a start-up."

(See Sergey Brin address the Academy of Achievement at
the 2014 International Achievement Summit in San Francsico.)

This page last revised on Jan 16, 2015 22:21 EDT
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