Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the second oldest of four children; he grew up in Dobbs Ferry, New York, in a modest house that doubles as his father’s dentist practice.New York Magazine visited his parents last month and spoke at length with Ed Zuckerberg, Mark’s father. Ed explained his son’s interests growing up.
As a child, Mark and his sisters spent a lot of time around Ed’s machinery and computers. Mark learned to code on his father’s Atari 800.
He once wrote and filmed a Star Wars spoof with his older sister Randi using handheld cameras. Mark also played a lot of video games. He was a big Sim City fan and he was dubbed the family champion of Mario Kart.
One of the first things Mark built was Zucknet, a way for his family to send instant messages to each other over the computer.
If he hadn’t built Facebook, his parents half expected Mark to become a lawyer. Saying no to him was never easy.
“If you were going to say no to him, you had better be prepared with a strong argument backed by facts, experiences, logic, reasons,” his father told Time in another interview. “We envisioned him becoming a lawyer one day, with a near 100 per cent success rate of convincing juries.”
As for how he raised the CEO of Facebook, Ed tells New York Magazine:
“Look, you have successful kids, and people are going to want to emulate your formula. But we don’t profess any special child-rearing skills. The best I can say is that as parents, you can engineer the life you want your kids to have, but it may not be the life they want to have. You have to encourage them to pursue their passions. And you have to spend more time on them than you spend on anything else.”
For more on Mark Zuckerberg’s childhood, check out The Zuckerbergs Of Dobbs Ferry in New York Magazine.