Lawrence Edward Page is an American computer scientist and Internet entrepreneur. He is best known as one of the co-founders of Google along with Sergey Brin.
Page was the chief executive officer of Google from 1997 until August 2001 (stepping down in favor of Eric Schmidt) then from April 2011 until July 2015 when he moved to become CEO of Alphabet Inc. (created to deliver "major advancements" as Google's parent company), a post he held until December 4, 2019. He remains an Alphabet board member, employee, and controlling shareholder.
Creating Google built a large amount of wealth. Forbes placed him 10th in the list "Billionaires 2019", and as of July 2020, Page was the 13th-richest person in the world, with a net worth of $69.4 billion, according to Forbes.
Page is the co-creator and namesake of PageRank, a search ranking algorithm for Google Page received the Marconi Prize in 2004 with co-writer Brin.
Early life and education
Page was born on March 26, 1973, in Lansing, Michigan. His mother is Jewish; his maternal grandfather later immigrated to Israel. However, Page's upbringing has been done without any religious practice or influence and he has declared himself no formal religion. His father, Carl Victor Page Sr., earned a PhD in computer science from the University of Michigan. BBC reporter Will Smale described him as a "pioneer in computer science and artificial intelligence". Page's father was a computer science professor at Michigan State University and his mother Gloria was an instructor in computer programming at Lyman Briggs College at the same institution.
During an interview, Page recalled his childhood home "was usually a mess, with computers, science, and technology magazines and Popular Science magazines all over the place", an environment in which he immersed himself. Page was an avid reader during his youth, writing in his 2013 Google founders letter: "I remember spending a huge amount of time pouring over books and magazines". According to writer Nicholas Carlson, the combined influence of Page's home atmosphere and his attentive parents "fostered creativity and invention". Page also played instruments and studied music composition while growing up. His parents sent him to music summer camp — Interlochen Arts Camp at Interlochen, Michigan, and Page has mentioned that his musical education inspired his impatience and obsession with speed in computing. "In some sense, I feel like music training led to the high-speed legacy of Google for me". In an interview Page said that "In music, you're very cognizant of time. Time is like the primary thing" and that "If you think about it from a music point of view, if you're a percussionist, you hit something, it's got to happen in milliseconds, fractions of a second".
Page was first attracted to computers when he was six years old, as he was able to "play with the stuff lying around"—first-generation personal computers—that had been left by his mother and father. He became the "first kid in his elementary school to turn in an assignment from a word processor". His older brother also taught him to take things apart and before long he was taking "everything in his house apart to see how it worked". He said that "from a very early age, I also realized I wanted to invent things. So I became interested in technology and business. Probably from when I was 12, I knew I was going to start a company eventually."
Page attended the Okemos Montessori School (now called Montessori Radmoor) in Okemos, Michigan, from ages 2 to 7 (1975 to 1979). He attended East Lansing High School graduating in 1991. In summer school, he attended Interlochen Center for the Arts playing flute but mainly saxophone for two summers. Page holds a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Michigan, with honors and a Master of Science in computer science from Stanford University. While at the University of Michigan, Page created an inkjet printer made of Lego bricks (literally a line plotter), after he thought it possible to print large posters cheaply with the use of inkjet cartridges—Page reverse-engineered the ink cartridge, and built the electronics and mechanics to drive it. Page served as the president of the Beta Epsilon chapter of the Eta Kappa Nu fraternity, and was a member of the 1993 "Maize & Blue" University of Michigan Solar Car team. As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, he proposed that the school replace its bus system with a personal rapid transit system, which is essentially a driverless monorail with separate cars for every passenger. He also developed a business plan for a company that would use software to build a music synthesizer during this time.
In 2021, Forbes estimated his fortune at $91500 million.