Larry Page is one of the most powerful people in the world.
The quirky, soft-spoken computer scientist cofounded Google with Sergey Brin in 1998 and now, almost 20 years later, still runs its parent company, Alphabet.
So who’s the man behind Google and how did he get to where he is today?
Here’s his story.
Jillian D’Onfro contributed to an earlier version of this story.
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Gloria and Carl Page had their second son, Lawrence, on March 26, 1973. They both taught computer science at Michigan State University and filled their home with computers and tech magazines that enthralled Larry from a very young age.
At 12, Page read a biography about the brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla, who died in debt and obscurity. The ending made him cry, and inspired Page to not only want to build world-changing technologies, but to have the business sense to know how to spread them. 'I figured that inventing things wasn't any good,' he has said. 'You really had to get them out into the world and have people use them to have any effect.'
Besides tinkering with electronics, Page also played saxophone growing up, and he once told Fortune that his musical training in part led 'to the high-speed legacy of Google' (Apparently he also tried to pick up percussion in the last few years).
During his time as an undergrad at University of Michigan, Page started mulling the future of transportation, something he's still interested in today. He joined the school's solar-car team (pictured below) and suggested that Michigan build a monorail-like 'personal rapid-transit system' between its campuses.
Today, Google parent company Alphabet is working on both self-driving cars through its new company Waymo, and data-driven transportation improvements through Footpath Labs.
Source: Business Insider
Both Page and Brin are 'burners,' or avid attendees of the free-wheeling art festival Burning Man. The year after incorporating Google, they created the first-ever Google Doodle to let people know they weren't around to do damage control if the site broke -- they had retreated to the Nevada desert for the festival.
Page wasn't happy about having to relinquish his CEO spot at first, but gradually became comfortable being less involved in the day-to-day management of the company.
In 2007, he actually felt like he was still spending too much time in meetings, so he got rid of his assistants so that anyone who wanted to talk to him had to physically track him down.
But during that time, he was still very actively involved in Google's product and vision. Page orchestrated the acquisition of Andy Rubin's company Android without telling Schmidt until he'd sealed the deal.
He reorganized the company's senior management, and before the end of 2012, the company had launched Google+, its first Chromebook laptop, Google Glass, high-speed-internet service Fibre, and more.
He continued leading Google until 2015, when the company blew up its corporate structure, and Page became the CEO of parent company Alphabet instead.
Page wrote in his letter about the news that becoming Alphabet's CEO would help with 'getting more ambitious things done' and 'taking the long-term view' to improve 'the lives of as many people as we can.'
In his current role, Page spends much of his time researching new technologies, meeting and enlisting really smart people, and imagining what Alphabet's next moonshot bet might be.
In 2007, Page married Lucinda Southworth, a research scientist. The couple rented out a private island in the Caribbean and invited 600 guests. Virgin Group founder Richard Branson was Page's best man.
Page isn't particularly showy with his wealth, but he lives well. He, Southworth, and two kids reside in a Palo Alto compound that includes a $7 million home as well as an 'eco-mansion' with a rooftop garden and solar panels.
Page's flashiest purchase is perhaps the 194-foot super-yacht called 'Senses' that he bought for $45 million in 2011. It has a helipad and a Jacuzzi on its deck.
Back in 2006, court documents revealed that Schmidt had to help settle an argument between the founders, who were bickering about what size beds the 'party plane' needed. They also wanted to outfit the plane with hammocks and a cocktail bar.
Source: The Mercury News
Page also dedicates part of his wealth to causes he believes in. He's a personal investor in Planetary Resources, which aims to mine asteroids; Tesla; and Twigtale, a personalised children's book startup founded by his sister-in-law.
In 2006, he also started The Carl Victor Page Memorial Foundation in honour of his father. Carl Page passed away soon after Larry left for grad school because of complications caused by the polio he contracted as a child.
These days, Page seems most interested in flying cars. Page has reportedly invested $100 million of his own money in 'Zee.Aero,' an aircraft company working on a 'revolutionary new form of transportation.' Page is also an investor in Kitty Hawk, a mysterious flying-car startup. The company recently built a fully electric, single-person aircraft.
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