1) Craig Newmark, known for laying the foundation of the international Craigslist website, was born on 6 December 1952 in Morristown New Jersey. He is the son of Joyce and Lee Newmark, a Jewish family who sent Newmark to religious Jewish schools. This means he had a bar Mitzvah in his childhood. However, today he calls himself as a secular, non-practicing Jew and jokingly calls ‘Leonard Cohen’ his rabbi.
2) Childhood times were particularly hard for his family, especially as far as the finances are concerned. Newmark’s father who worked as an insurance salesman passed away after battling lung cancer when Newmark was twelve years old after which his mother, Craig and his brother Jeff moved into an apartment because of financial struggles.
3) Newmark proved his worth in 1971 when he successfully graduated from Morristown High School. Furthermore, he won a number of scholarships with the help of which he was able to enroll in Case Western Reserve University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and two years later, he received a Master of Science degree from the same place.
4) Craig Newmark has the honor and prestige of being part of the Hall of Fame where he was introduced by the Internet Society in 2012. In addition to this, he joined Matt Mullenweg in becoming an honorary patron of Trinity College Dublin’s University Philosophical Society in 2009.
5) The Master’s thesis of Newmark was entitled “Fundamental Models of Computer Systems and Their Relationship to Information Security.”
6) The idea of Craigslist did not come immediately to Newmark who started working at IBM after graduating. He continued working there for 17 years and in the role of a programmer, he was constantly on the move firstly from New Jersey to Boca Raton in Florida and then from there to Detroit.
7) Newmark also has a lot of experience working for other firms including Bank of America and Charles Schwab. It was with the latter in San Francisco when Newmark first came into contact with the internet that was commercially free in 1993. Two years later in 1995, he developed the idea of Craigslist in his apartment.
8) For Newmark, Craigslist was meant to be a free marketplace, which meant that all sorts of people living in the city of San Francisco could come together, and exchange information about the city including events. Initially the idea of the website started as a list of email distribution including friends and acquaintances.
9) Craig Newmark got the idea for the website after observing how people helped each other out on the Internet using MindVox, Usenet and WELL. He decided to develop a similar forum for all the people of San Francisco.
10) Word of mouth helped Newmark increase the number of subscribers to the list who started interacting with each other for non-event related issues like searching for jobs and apartments. In 1996, Craigslist officially expanded itself into other categories and became a web-based service. In 2000, the demand for Craigslist grew and it expanded into other US cities. Today, more than 50 countries can use Craigslist for information sharing purposes.
11) Craig Newmark has also made a statement by making strong political affiliations. He donated quite a large sum of money to the presidential campaign of Democratic Senator John Kerry. He also showed his support for Republican John McCain during the time he was running for the office.
12) In 2010, Forbes magazine featured Craig Newmark estimated his net worth to be $400 million and added him to their list of Billionaires in the Making.
13) Newmark also serves on the Board of Directors of Center for Public I
ntegrity as well as the Sunlight Foundation. Craig Newmark has continued supporting his website by forming and establishing important relationships with nonprofit organizations and foundations. Newmark provides financial or personal support to dozens of such organizations and serves on the advisory board of eleven of them. He is also on the Board of Directors of three.
14) As the creator of Craigslist, Newmark is extremely easy to reach; he operates a Twitter and Facebook account. In addition to contributing regularly to The Huffington Post, Newmark is also a regular blogger.
15) In 2009, Craig Newmark became a member of the Wikimedia Advisory Board; he is also a member of the New America Foundation Leadership Council as well as the advisory board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
16) Newmark launched craigconnects in March 2011, as a platform where social media can be used to inform others of beneficial efforts and encourage such behavior. This initiative is a testament to Newmark’s constant support of nonprofit organizations, which make use of the internet for solving social issues, successfully achieving innovation projects and attempting to raise funding for education. Craigconnects is also a way for Newmark to increase global connectivity using better technology and media integrity.
17) In 2006, Craig Newmark proved himself an unbiased and vocal advocate for the freedom of the internet. He also donated the sum of $10,000 to newassignment.net, which is a non-profit that produces and published investigative stories on the internet by bringing together the works of professionals and amateurs.
18) While studying at Morristown High School, Craig Newmark was an active member of the forensics club as well as the co-captain of the debates club. He also took the initiative of forming a special club that would meet regularly to play the game Go.
19) In December 2012, Craig Newmark married Eileen Whelpley in New Jersey. Newmark had been dating Whelpley for about a year after meeting each other on Cole Street. Currently, the couple resides in the Cole Valley in San Francisco.
20) Newmark is still an active part of Craigslist and deals with scammers and spammers. He believes that his website has helped many people over the world find what they were looking for and more. Newmark can tell of the number of marriages and at least five kidney donations that took place over Craigslist.