The wild life of billionaire Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who eats one meal a day, evangelizes about bitcoin, and had to defend his company in front of Congress

Jack Dorsey appears at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
Jack Dorsey onstage at a bitcoin convention on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  • Jack Dorsey cofounded Twitter in 2006, and the company has made him a billionaire.
  • He is famous for his unusual life of luxury, including a daily fasting routine and regular ice baths.
  • Dorsey announced he had stepped down as the CEO of Twitter on November 29, 2021.
  • Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.

From fighting armies of bots to quashing rumors about sending his beard hair to rapper Azealia Banks, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey leads an unusual life of luxury.

Dorsey has had a turbulent career in Silicon Valley. After cofounding Twitter on March 21 2006, he was booted as the company’s CEO two years later, but returned in 2015 having set up his second company, Square.

He led the company through the techlash that has engulfed social media companies, testifying before Congress multiple times.

Dorsey announced on November 29, 2021 he had stepped down as the CEO of Twitter.

Dorsey has provoked his fair share of controversy and criticism, extolling fasting and ice baths as part of his daily routine. His existence is not entirely spartan, however. Like some other billionaires, he owns a stunning house, dates models, and drives fast cars.

Scroll on to read more about the fabulous life of Jack Dorsey.

Rebecca Borison and Madeline Stone contributed reporting to an earlier version of this story.

Dorsey began programming while attending Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis.
Jack Dorsey
At age 15, Dorsey wrote dispatch software that is still used by some taxi companies.

Source: Bio.

When he wasn’t checking out specialty electronics stores or running a fantasy football league for his friends, Dorsey frequently attended punk-rock concerts.
Jack dorsey young
These days Dorsey doesn’t favour the spiky hairdo.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Like many of his fellow tech billionaires, Dorsey never graduated college.
Jack dorsey young
He briefly attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and transferred to New York University before calling it quits.

Source: Bio.

In 2000, Dorsey built a simple prototype that let him update his friends on his life via BlackBerry and email messaging.
Jack dorsey young
Nobody else really seemed interested, so he put away the idea for a bit.

Source: The Unofficial Stanford Blog

Fun fact: Jack Dorsey is also a licensed masseur.
Jack dorsey 9:13
He got his license in about 2002, before exploding onto the tech scene.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal

He got a job at a podcasting company called Odeo, where he met his future Twitter cofounders.
Twitter sxsw 2007 jack dorsey evan williams biz stone jason
Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams took home the prize in the blogging category at SXSW in 2007. Flickr via Scott Beale/LaughingSquid
Odeo went out of business in 2006, so Dorsey returned to his messaging idea, and Twitter was born.
On March 21, 2006, Dorsey posted the first tweet.
Jack Dorsey's first tweet
Jack Dorsey’s first tweet. Twitter/@jack
Dorsey kept his Twitter handle simple, “@jack.”
Dorsey and his cofounders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, bought the Twitter domain name for roughly $US7,000 ($AU9,813).
Jack dorsey young
Dorsey took out his nose ring to look the part of a CEO. He was 30 years old.
A year later, Dorsey was already less hands-on at Twitter.
 Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey
Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey. Wikimedia Commons
By 2008, Williams had taken over as CEO, and Dorsey transitioned to chairman of Twitter’s board. Dorsey immediately got started on new projects. He invested in Foursquare and launched a payments startup called Square that lets small-business owners accept credit card payments through a smartphone attachment.

Sources: Twitter and Bio.

In 2011, Dorsey got the chance to interview US President Barack Obama in the first Twitter Town Hall.
Jack Dorsey and President Obama in Twitter Town Hall
President Obama talks to the audience next to Jack Dorsey during his first ever Twitter Town Hall. Reuters
Dorsey had to remind Obama to keep his replies under 140 characters, Twitter’s limit at the time.

Source: Twitter

Twitter went public in November 2013, and within hours Dorsey was a billionaire.
Twitter founder Jack Dorsey
In 2014 Forbes pegged Dorsey’s net worth at $US2.2 ($AU3) billion. On the day it was reported he was expected to resign, Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index calculated his net worth at $US12.3 ($AU17) billion.

Source: Bio. and Forbes

It was revealed in a 2019 filing that Dorsey earned just $US1 ($AU1).40 ($AU2) for his job as Twitter CEO the previous year.
Jack Dorsey tramp beard
Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey, who doesn’t earn anything from his primary day job. David Becker / Getty
The $US1 ($AU1).40 ($AU2) salary actually represented a pay rise for Dorsey, who in previous years had refused any payment at all.

He’s far from the only Silicon Valley mogul to have taken a measly salary – Mark Zuckerberg makes $US1 ($AU1) a year as CEO of Facebook.

Source: Business Insider

He might have been worth more had he not given back 10% of his stock to Square.
Jack Dorsey at Sun Valley
Jack Dorsey with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer, Veronica Smiley, and Kate Greer at the annual Allen and Co. conference at the Sun Valley, Idaho Resort in 2013. Reuters
This helped Square employees, giving them more equity and stock options. It was also helpful in acquiring online food-delivery startup Caviar.

Sources: Business Insider and Caviar

With his newfound wealth, he bought a BMW 3 Series, but reportedly didn’t drive it often.
Bmw 4 series concept detroit auto show naias 2013
“Now he’s able to say, like, ‘The BMW is the only car I drive, because it’s the best automotive engineering on the planet,’ or whatever,” Twitter cofounder Biz Stone told The New Yorker in 2013.

Source: The New Yorker

He also reportedly paid $US9.9 ($AU14) million for this seaside house on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.
Jack Dorsey 10 million San Francisco home
The house has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, which Dorsey views as a marvel of design.

Source: Business Insider

Before the pandemic, Dorsey said he worked from home one day a week.
Dorsey home setup
Jack Dorsey’s home setup. Twitter/@jack
In an interview with journalist Kara Swisher conducted over Twitter, Dorsey said he worked every Tuesday out of his kitchen.
He also told Kara Swisher that Elon Musk is his favorite Twitter user.
Elon musk
Elon Musk is a prolific tweeter. PewDiePie/YouTube
Dorsey said Musk’s tweets are, “focused on solving existential problems and sharing his thinking openly.”

He added that he enjoys all the “ups and downs” that come with Musk’s sometimes unpredictable use of the site. Musk himself replied, tweeting his thanks and “Twitter rocks!” followed by a string of random emojis.

Source: Business Insider

Facebook CEO and rival Mark Zuckerberg once served Jack Dorsey a goat he killed himself.
Goat eyes thumbnails 02
Dorsey told Rolling Stone about the meal, which took place in 2011. Dorsey said the goat was served cold, and that he personally stuck to salad.

Source: Rolling Stone

His eating habits have raised eyebrows.
Jack Dorsey
Appearing on a podcast run by a health guru who previously said that vaccines caused autism, Dorsey said he eats one meal a day and fasts all weekend. He said the first time he tried fasting it made him feel like he was hallucinating.

“It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down,” he said.

The comments drew fierce criticism from many who said Dorsey was normalizing eating disorders.

In a later interview with Wired, Dorsey said he eats seven meals a week, “just dinner.”

Sources: Business Insider, The New Statesman

In the early days of Twitter, Dorsey aspired to be a fashion designer.
Jack dorsey fashion
Dorsey would regularly don leather jackets and slim suits by Prada and Hermès, as well as Dior Homme reverse-collar dress shirts, a sort of stylish take on the popped collar.

More recently he favors edgier outfits, including the classic black turtleneck favored by Silicon Valley luminaries like Steve Jobs.

Sources: CBS News and The Wall Street Journal

He also re-introduced the nose-ring and grew a beard.
Jack Dorsey
Dorsey seems to care less about looking the part of a traditional executive these days.
Singer Azealia Banks claimed to have been sent clippings of Dorsey’s beard hair to fashion into a protective amulet, although Dorsey denied this happened.
Azealia banks
Azealia Banks. Getty
In 2016, Banks posted on her now-deleted Twitter account that Dorsey sent her his hair, “in an envelope.” Dorsey later told the HuffPo that the beard-posting incident never happened.

Sources: Business Insider and HuffPo

Dorsey frequently travels the world and shares his photos with his 6 million Twitter followers.
Dorsey Abe
Jack Dorsey meeting Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe. Twitter/@JPN_PMO
On his travels, Dorsey meets heads of state, including Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

Source: Twitter

Tweets about his vacation in Myanmar also provoked an outcry.
Bagan myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar. Shutterstock/Martin M303
Dorsey tweeted glowingly about a vacation he took to Myanmar for his birthday in December 2018. “If you’re willing to travel a bit, go to Myanmar,” he said.

This came at the height of the Rohingya crisis, and Dorsey was attacked for his blithe promotion of the country — especially since social media platforms were accused of having been complicit in fuelling hatred towards the Rohingya.

Source: Business Insider

However, Dorsey says he doesn’t care about “looking bad.”
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to questions as he and first lady Melania Trump meet with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump welcomes South Korea’s President Moon to the White House in Washington Reuters
In a bizarre Huffington Post interview in 2019, Dorsey was asked whether Donald Trump — an avid tweeter — could be removed from the platform if he called on his followers to murder a journalist. Dorsey gave a vague answer which drew sharp criticism.

Following the interview’s publication, Dorsey said he doesn’t care about “looking bad.”

“I care about being open about how we’re thinking and about what we see,” he added.

In September 2018, Jack Dorsey was grilled by lawmakers alongside Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Jack Dorsey Sheryl Sandberg Twitter Facebook Senate
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Jack Dorsey are sworn-in for a Senate Intelligence Committee. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Dorsey and Sandberg were asked about election interference on Twitter and Facebook as well as alleged anti-conservative bias in social media companies.

Source: Business Insider

During the hearing, Dorsey shared a snapshot of his spiking heart rate on Twitter.
Jack dorsey
Dorsey was in the hot seat for several hours. His heart rate peaked at 109 beats per minute.

Source: Business Insider

Dorsey testified before Congress once again on October 28, 2020.
Jack Dorsey hearing beard
Jack Dorsey tuning into the hearing with the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation/Handout via REUTERS
Dorsey appeared via videoconference at the Senate hearing on Section 230, a part of US law that protects internet companies from legal liability for user-generated content, as well as giving them broad authority to decide how to moderate their own platforms.

In prepared testimony ahead of the hearing, Dorsey said stripping back Section 230 would “collapse how we communicate on the Internet,” and suggested ways for tech companies to make their moderation processes more transparent.

 

During the hearing, Dorsey once again faced accusations of anti-conservative bias
Jack Dorsey hearing
Jack Dorsey appearing virtually at the hearing. Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images
The accusations from Republican lawmakers focused on the way Twitter enforces its policies, particularly the way it has labelled tweets from President Trump compared to other world leaders.

Dorsey took the brunt of questions from lawmakers, even though he appeared alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

Source: Protocol

During the hearing, the length of Dorsey’s beard drew fascination from pundits.
Jack Dorsey hearing mic
Dorsey had to address accusations of censorship. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS
Some users referred to Dorsey’s facial hair as his “quarantine beard,” while others said it made him look like a wizard.

“Jack Dorsey’s beard is literally breaking Twitter’s own face detection,” posted cybersecurity blogging account @Swiftonsecurity.

 

Dorsey also addressed the way Twitter dealt with a dubiously sourced New York Post story about Hunter Biden.
Jack Dorsey hearing screen
Jack Dorsey appearing on-screen at the hearing. Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
When the New York Post published a report about Hunter Biden on October 14 that threw up red flags about sourcing, Twitter blocked users from sharing URLs citing its “hacked materials” policy.

Dorsey subsequently apologized publicly, saying it was wrong of Twitter to block URLs.

During the Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz accused Twitter of taking the “unilateral decision to censor” the Post.

Dorsey said the Post’s Twitter account would remain locked until it deleted its original tweet, but that updated policies meant it could tweet the same story again without getting blocked.

Source: Business Insider

Dorsey had to appear before another hearing on November 17 2020 — this time about how Twitter handled content moderation around the 2020 presidential election.
Image
Dorsey was summoned alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Republicans who were displeased with how the platforms had dealt with then-President Donald Trump’s social media accounts. 

Both CEOs defended their companies, saying they are politically neutral.

When he’s not in Washington, Dorsey regularly hops in and out of ice baths and saunas.
Sauna
This is not Dorsey’s sauna. Shutterstock
Dorsey said in the “Tales of the Crypt” podcast that he started using ice baths and saunas in the evenings around 2016.

He will alternately sit in his barrel sauna for 15 minutes and then switch to an ice bath for three. He repeats this routine three times, before finishing it off with a one-minute ice bath.

He also likes to take an icy dip in the mornings to wake him up.

Source: CNBC

Dorsey’s dating life has sparked intrigue. In 2018, he was reported to be dating Sports Illustrated model Raven Lyn Corneil.
Jack Dorsey Raven Lyn Corneil
Page Six reported in September 2018 that the pair were spotted together at the Harper’s Bazaar Icons party during New York Fashion Week. Page Six also reported that Dorsey’s exes included actress Lily Cole and ballet dancer Sofiane Sylve.

Source: Page Six

He’s a big believer in cryptocurrency, frequently tweeting about its virtues.
Jack dorsey
In particular, Dorsey is a fan of Bitcoin, which he described in early 2019 as “resilient” and “principled.” He told the “Tales of the Crypt” podcast in March that year that he was maxing out the $US10,000 ($AU14,018) weekly spending limit on Square’s Cash App buying up Bitcoin.

In October 2020 he slammed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for forbidding employee activism at the company, saying cryptocurrency is itself a form of activism.

 

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider and CNBC

 

Dorsey said Square is launching a new bitcoin business.
Square and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wearing a tye-dye shirt on stage in front of a bitcoin logo at a bitcoin convention in Miami, Floridia, on June 4, 2021.
Square CEO Jack Dorsey speaks at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference held on June 4, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Dorsey announced the new venture in a tweet on July 15, 2021 and said its name was “TBD.” It wasn’t clear whether that was its actual name, or Dorsey hasn’t decided on a name yet.

 

Dorsey said he hopes bitcoin can help bring about “world peace.”
Jack Dorsey wearing tie-dye shirt onstage
Jack Dorsey on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference in Miami. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Dorsey appeared alongside Elon Musk and Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood during a panel called “The B Word” on July 2021. He said he loves the bitcoin community because it’s “weird as hell.”

“It’s the only reason that I have a career — because I learned so much from people like who are building bitcoin today,” Dorsey said.

At the end of 2019 Dorsey said he would move to Africa for at least three months in 2020.
Jack Dorsey France
Dorsey’s announcement followed a tour of Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. “Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020,” he tweeted.

 

Dorsey then came under threat of being ousted as Twitter CEO by activist investor Elliott Management.
Paul Singer Elliott Management
Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo
Both Bloomberg and CNBC reported in late February 2020 that major Twitter investor Elliott Management — led by Paul Singer — was seeking to replace Dorsey. 

Reasons given included the fact that Dorsey split his time between two firms by acting as CEO to both Twitter and financial tech firm Square, as well as his planned move to Africa.

Source: Business Insider

Tesla CEO and frequent Twitter user Elon Musk weighed in on the news, throwing his support behind Dorsey.
Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
“Just want to say that I support @jack as Twitter CEO,” Musk tweeted, adding that Dorsey has a good heart, using the heart emoji.

Source: Business Insider

Dorsey managed to strike a truce with Elliott Management.
Jack Dorsey
Twitter announced on March 9, 2020 that it had reached a deal with Elliott Management which would leave Jack Dorsey in place as CEO.

The deal included a $US1 ($AU1) billion investment from private equity firm Silver Lake, and partners from both Elliott Management and Silver Lake joined Twitter’s board.

Patrick Pichette, lead independent director of Twitter’s board, said he was “confident we are on the right path with Jack’s leadership,” but added that a new temporary committee would be formed to instruct the board’s evaluation of Twitter’s leadership.

In April 2020, Dorsey announced that he was forming a new charity fund that would help in global relief efforts amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Jack dorsey twitter square ceo
Dorsey. Matt Crossick/PA Images via Getty Images
Dorsey said he would pour $US1 ($AU1) billion of his own Square equity into the fund, or roughly 28% of his total wealth at the time. 

The fund, dubbed Start Small LLC, would first focus on helping in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said.

Dorsey said he would be making all transactions on behalf of the fund public in a spreadsheet.

In July 2020, hackers compromised 130 Twitter accounts in a bitcoin scam.
Twitter bill gates crypto scam
The accounts of high-profile verified accounts belonging to Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian West, and others were hacked, with attackers tweeting out posts asking users to send payment in bitcoin to fraudulent cryptocurrency addresses.

As a solution, Twitter temporarily blocked all verified accounts — those with blue check marks on their profiles — but the damage was done.

 

 

Elon Musk said he personally contacted Dorsey following the hack.
Jack Dorsey Elon Musk
Elon Musk (left) and Dorsey. Susan Walsh/AP; Getty Images
During a July 2020 interview with The New York Times, Musk said he had immediately called Dorsey after he learned about the hack.

“Within a few minutes of the post coming up, I immediately got texts from a bunch of people I know, then I immediately called Jack so probably within less than five minutes my account was locked,” said Musk.

Source: The New York Times

In March 2021 Dorsey put his first-ever tweet up for auction.
Jack dorsey twitter
Jack Dorsey and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, off camera, testify during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Dirksen Building where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018 Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
As the craze for Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gathered momentum, Dorsey announced he was auctioning his first tweet for charity. It was bought for $US2.9 ($AU4) million by Hakan Estavi, chief executive at at Bridge Oracle

Dorsey said proceeds from the auction would go to Give Directly’s Africa response.

Twitter announced on November 29 Dorsey had stepped down as CEO.
Jack Dorsey creator, co-founder, and Chairman of Twitter and co-founder & CEO of Square speaks on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention, a crypto-currency conference held at the Mana Convention Center in Wynwood on June 04, 2021 in Miami, Florida.
Jack Dorsey co-founder and chairman of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of Square. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
CNBC was the first to report on Dorsey’s expected resignation, citing unnamed sources.

Twitter confirmed the story the same day, announcing Chief Technology Officer Parag Agrawal would take over as CEO with immediate effect.

Dorsey posted on his Twitter account saying: “Not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter.”

In his tweet he included a screenshot of the email he sent to Twitter staff announcing his resignation.