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Inside the 19-year relationship of Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, who are about to have their 3rd baby together
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been married to his wife, Priscilla Chan, since 2012.
The couple met during college and have since had two kids together with a third on the way.
They've also founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and amassed a real estate empire.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg may not have gotten an undergrad degree out of Harvard, but he has his time at the university to thank for introducing him to his wife, Priscilla Chan.
The couple met in 2003 at a frat party, and tied the knot in 2012, one day after the IPO of what was then called Facebook.
Over the past two decades, as Zuckerberg has continued to run Meta, the couple founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, pledged millions to philanthropy efforts, started a family, and traveled on vacations abroad, all while buying up big properties in California, Lake Tahoe, and Hawaii.
Here's everything you need to know about the couple, who have been together for nearly 20 years and have two children together — with one more on the way.
Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg met in line for the bathroom at a Harvard University party in 2003. Zuckerberg's fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi, was hosting a party and Chan, a sophomore student from the Boston area, was there.
"He was this nerdy guy who was just a little bit out there," Chan told The New Yorker. "I remember he had these beer glasses that said 'pound include beer dot H.' It’s a tag for C++. It’s like college humor but with a nerdy, computer-science appeal."
Chan said that when she first met Zuckerberg, she thought he might get kicked out of school for a prank he pulled: the hot-or-not website ranking the attractiveness of students on campus, called "Facemash," that Zuckerberg notoriously created in his sophomore year at Harvard.
Zuckerberg was also expecting to get kicked out of Harvard when he met Chan. The party was a farewell bash. In his 2017 commencement address at Harvard, Zuckerberg said his opening line to Chan was: "I'm going to get kicked out in three days, so we need to go on a date quickly."
"Without Facemash, I wouldn't have met Priscilla," Zuckerberg said in his Harvard commencement address in 2017. "She's the most important person in my life, so you could say it was the most important thing I built in my time here."
When Zuckerberg took Chan out for the first time, he told her he'd "rather go on a date with [her] than finish his take-home midterm," Chan said in an interview with the "Today Show" in 2014. "The type-A first child in me was appalled."
Zuckerberg officially dropped out of Harvard in the fall of 2005, after his sophomore year, to focus on building Facebook. He moved out to Palo Alto, California, where Facebook opened its first office.
In 2007, Chan graduated from Harvard, and Zuckerberg was there to celebrate. Chan then followed him to California, and entered medical school at the University of California, San Francisco in 2008. She rented an apartment near Golden Gate Park, where Zuckerberg would visit her most weekends.
Early on in their relationship, Chan set some strict ground rules because Zuckerberg was so busy with Facebook. Chan required one date per week, and a minimum of 100 minutes of alone time per week not at Facebook.
"They walk in the park, go rowing (he insists that they go in separate boats and race), play bocce or the board game the Settlers of Catan. Sundays are reserved for Asian cuisine," the New Yorker wrote about the couple in 2010.
Chan was there when Zuckerberg turned down multiple buyout offers, including a $ 1 billion offer from Yahoo in 2006. She told the New Yorker in 2010 that during that time period, Zuckerberg was the most stressed-out that she'd ever seen him.
While still a med student at UCSF, Chan moved in September 2010 to Zuckerberg's rented house in the College Terrace neighborhood of Palo Alto. He announced the news on — where else — Facebook. "Now we have 2x everything, so if you need any household appliances, dishes, glasses, etc please come by and take them before we give them away," he wrote.
In May 2011, Zuckerberg and Chan bought a five-bedroom home for $ 7 million in Palo Alto and tricked it out with a "custom-made artificially intelligent assistant." The following year, Zuckerberg bought the four homes surrounding the residence for $ 43 million to allow him to expand his property.
In May 2012, Zuckerberg and Chan tied the knot in a surprise wedding ceremony just days after Chan graduated from med school and Zuckerberg took his company public. The couple told guests that the event was a surprise graduation party for Chan, then treated their guests to a wedding ceremony in the backyard of the couple's Palo Alto house.
Not long after returning from their honeymoon, Zuckerberg purchased a townhouse in San Francisco's Dolores Heights neighborhood for $ 10 million. He spent an additional $ 1.6 million to remodel the place. He sold the home in 2022 for $ 31 million.
Zuckerberg and Chan made a major purchase in October 2014: two properties in Kauai, Hawaii, for more than $ 100 million. They've since added to the estate two more times and now own roughly 1,500 acres in Kauai.
In July of that year, Zuckerberg announced on Facebook that Chan was pregnant. The couple had been trying for years, but Chan suffered three miscarriages along the way. "It's a lonely experience," Zuckerberg wrote. Chan gave birth to a baby girl that December and the couple named her Max — short for Maxima.
To celebrate the birth of their daughter, the couple also announced the launch of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The couple pledged to donate 99% of their Facebook shares through the organization. Chan left her role as a pediatrician to run the organization full-time.
The couple announced in 2016 they would invest $ 3 billion of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative's funds into research for curing the world's diseases. Their goal is to cure all diseases in the lifetime of their daughter, Max.
Together, the couple have given hundreds of millions to charity. They announced in 2015 they were signing onto the Giving Pledge, a commitment made by billionaires to give away more than half of their wealth during their lifetimes or in their wills.
Chan and Zuckerberg have also made efforts to support education on both coasts. The Meta CEO made a $ 100 million investment back in 2010 into the struggling school system in Newark, New Jersey, but the effort ultimately failed. In 2015, Chan and Zuckerberg launched their own school, called The Primary School, for students in low-income areas.
The couple also donated $ 75 million in 2015 to a San Francisco public hospital, which was then renamed after Zuckerberg. In 2020, the hospital's name was formally condemned by city officials, who accused the couple of tax evasion and Facebook of "endangering public health" by allowing misinformation to spread on its platform.
Meanwhile, Zuckerberg and Chan welcomed the birth of their second daughter in August 2017, whom they named — appropriately — August. Zuckerberg took two months off work for paternity leave after August's birth.
Zuckerberg and Chan have also traveled the world together. Early on in their relationship, they agreed to vacation for two weeks every year overseas. They've taken trips to Dubai, Mumbai, and China, where they visit Chan's family. Zuckerberg spent years learning Mandarin from Chan.
Zuckerberg and Chan added to their real estate portfolio in 2018, secretly dropping $ 59 million to purchase two waterfront estates in Lake Tahoe. Together, the two properties have 600 feet of private waterfront access.
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