SAN FRANCISCO | In the fall of 1968, a boy named Yang Chih-Yuan was born in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei. Ten years later, he emigrated to the States with his mother and younger brother. After living in Los Angeles for a spell, the family moved to San Jose, Calif. Eventually they all took American names. The mother, who had worked as a professor of English and drama in Taiwan and began teaching English as a second language when she arrived in America, became Lily and the youngest boy, Ken. As for the eldest, he decided to go by Jerry. His father had passed away when he was only 2 years old, so it was up to Lily to earn a living and raise the boys.
Jerry Yang went to public school in San Jose and then to Stanford University, where he earned first a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical engineering. He was working toward a Ph.D in 1995 when he and a classmate, David Filo, interrupted their studies to start a directory of internet sites called Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web. In time, the founders changed the name of the con...
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