Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and philanthropist from the United States. He is best known as the co-founder and former CEO of PayPal, an online payment system that eBay acquired in 2002 for $1.5 billion. Thiel is also known for his early investments in companies such as Facebook and SpaceX and for his controversial political views.
Thiel was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1967 and moved to the United States with his family at the age of one. He grew up in Foster City, California, and attended Stanford University, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy and a law degree.
After completing his education, Thiel worked as a securities lawyer and later as a derivatives trader. In 1998, he co-founded PayPal with a group of fellow entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk and Max Levchin. The company quickly gained popularity and was acquired by eBay just four years later. Thiel's share of the sale earned him over $60 million.
Following the sale of PayPal, Thiel became a venture capitalist and angel investor. He founded Thiel Capital, which invested in a wide range of startups, including LinkedIn, Yelp, and SpaceX. He was also an early investor in Facebook, purchasing a 10% stake in the company for $500,000 in 2004. This investment would eventually be worth billions of dollars.
In addition to his business activities, Thiel is also known for his political views. He is a libertarian and has been a vocal supporter of the Republican Party. Thiel has also been a vocal critic of higher education, arguing that college degrees are overvalued and that the student loan system is in need of reform.
In recent years, Thiel has focused on philanthropy and has donated millions of dollars to various causes, including education, healthcare, and technology. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Methuselah Foundation, which is working to extend the human lifespan and combat age-related diseases.
In conclusion, Peter Thiel is a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist known for his early investments in companies such as PayPal, Facebook, and SpaceX and for his controversial political views. He is also a philanthropist and has donated millions of dollars to various causes.