When it comes to personal details, there isn’t a ton we know about Priscilla Chan, the Harvard grad and physician who this week will celebrate two years of marriage with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
In 2012, The New York Times pointed out that “Ms. Chan guards her privacy and, so far, avoids speaking to the media unless it serves Mr. Zuckerberg’s career.”
In the article, there were some interesting details about Chan’s childhood, and the influence she had on her husband in terms of where and how they would give back. In 2013, Forbes named them the year’s most generous young couple after donating $US1 billion dollars.
Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, whom he met at Harvard, embarked on education philanthropy as a couple, but they brought different perspectives. Chan grew up in what she has described as a disadvantaged family in Quincy, Massachusetts. Her Chinese-Vietnamese immigrant parents worked eighteen hours a day, and her grandparents took care of her. Chan was the first in her immediate family to go to college, and credited public-school teachers with encouraging her to reach for Harvard. While there, she volunteered five days a week at two housing projects in Dorchester, helping children with academic and social challenges. She had since become a pediatrician, caring for underserved children. She came to see their challenges at school as inseparable from their experience with poverty, difficulties at home, and related health issues, both physical and emotional.
Meanwhile, Zuckerberg was “disarmingly open regarding how little he knew about urban education or philanthropy” when he began talking to Newark’s Mayor about the city’s school system in 2010, according to the New Yorker.