January 15, 2001
Huntsville native Jimmy Wales launched the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia with cofounder Larry Sanger. The pair founded Wikipedia as simply a side project to their peer-reviewed Nupedia, but the new website quickly outpaced the old, generating more than 15,000 articles in its first year. Today, Wikipedia encompasses more than 16 million articles written in over 260 languages. Wales later founded the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which oversees Wikipedia, and the for-profit company Wikia, which hosts sites created by others using the wiki model. He was named one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine in 2006.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.