Sergey Brin, the man who is currently ranked #9 in the Fortune 500 in the year 2021, has lived a rollercoaster of a life to get where he is today. Brin was born in 1973 in what was then the Soviet Union. The corruption of the regime along with the rampant anti-Semitism that Brin’s family faced caused his family to flee the USSR and come to the United States in 1979.
His father was able to get a job as a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland, and as a result, Sergey was encouraged by his family to take up maths and math-related subjects. Brin would eventually enroll at the University of Maryland as a student and would get an undergraduate degree in Computer Science at just 19 years old. Following his time at the University of Maryland, he would enroll at the prestigious Stanford University for their Computer Science Graduate Program.
At Stanford, Brin would become friends with a man named Larry Page. Brin and Page shared a mutual interest in the early Internet and data mining. The pair channeled their interest to make their own mark on the Internet, creating the Google search engine together. Their initial idea was to sell off the search engine technology. However, they were disappointed to find that very few companies had an interest. Brin and Page would not give up however and ended up starting their own business, Google Inc., with the technology instead behind a $100,000 investment.
It has been smooth sailing for Google ever since, with the technology being lauded as one of the greatest communication innovations in human history by many. Google has been the world’s leading search engine for a while (and it’s not close) and has expanded its influence as a company by taking on several new ventures. In 2015, Brin and Page renamed Google Inc. to Alphabet Inc., with an emphasis on being a powerful tech giant in all realms of the modern internet, with the Google search engine just being a small facet of the companies current influence. Brin remained as the President of the Google segment of Alphabet, before eventually stepping down in 2018.
Brin has always made sure to give back along the way as well. His mother was unfortunately diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and has donated $53 million dollars along with his wife towards the research of the disease. Today, Brin stands as one of the richest men in the world, which is truly incredible given his journey.