A look inside the insanely successful life of Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreessen

Marc Andreessen is best known for co-founding internet browser Netscape and later launching Andreessen Horowitz, one of Silicon Valley’s most famous venture capital firms.

Today, it has $US4.2 billion under management. Andreessen was an early investor in tech companies like Facebook and Twitter, and has overseen its investments in hot, billion-dollar startups like Airbnb.

Andreessen’s net worth was an estimated $US600 million in 2012 and has likely only increased since — not bad for someone who grew up in a sleepy “no-stoplight town” in rural Wisconsin.

Disclosure: Marc Andreessen is an investor in Business Insider.

Marc Andreessen grew up in the rural town of New Lisbon, Wisconsin. His dad, Lowell, worked for a seed company. His mum, Pat, worked for retailer Lands' End in customer service.

Andreessen doesn't like to talk about family: 'We've never had a conversation about his parents or his brother -- all he said was 'They didn't like me, and I didn't like them all that much, either,'' a friend of Andreessen told The New Yorker's Tad Friend.

When he was 9 years old, Andreessen taught himself BASIC programming from a library book. Once he hit high school, he'd already grown bored of his TRS-80, an early personal computer.

In college, Andreessen spent two months working 80-hour weeks in a computer lab, building a Web browser he called Mosaic. He and his team gave away Mosaic to two million users for free.

This caught the attention of James Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics. He and Andreessen co-founded Netscape in 1994.

When he left AOL, Andreessen formed a Web hosting company called Loudcloud with Ben Horowitz and others. The company changed its name to Opsware and sold to HP in 2007 for $1.6 billion.

Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen formed their Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in 2009. They started with $300 million, and in 3 years, the firm grew to have $2.7 billion under management. The firm has made investments in companies like Facebook, Airbnb, GitHub, and Twitter that have paid off.

In 2006, Andreessen married Laura Arrillaga, the daughter of Silicon Valley real estate tycoon John Arrillaga and the founder of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund.

He and Arrillaga live in a 9,000-square foot home filled with modern art in Atherton, just five minutes from Andreessen Horowitz's offices.

In 2012, Andreessen Horowitz's general partners, including Marc Andreessen, pledged to donate half of their lifetime income from venture capital activities to charity.

Today, Andreessen Horowitz has $4.2 billion under management. The firm invests in hot startups like Slack, Lyft, Airbnb, and Pinterest.

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