January 15, 2001
Huntsville native Jimmy Wales launched Wikipedia with cofounder Larry Sanger. Originally a side project to their first online encyclopedia, Nupedia, the site grew rapidly and, by the end of the year, boasted more than 15,000 articles. After asking Sanger to leave in 2002, Wales went on to found the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees Wikipedia, and the for-profit company Wikia, which hosts sites created by others using the wiki model. In 2006, Wales was named one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine.