The Biography of Larry Page : Early life, Google, Net Worth and Career

We’re at maybe 1% of what is possible. Despite the faster change, we’re still moving slow relative to the opportunities we have. I think a lot of that is because of the negativity… every story I’ve read is Google vs someone else. That’s boring. We should be focusing on building things that don’t exist… the Web isn’t advancing as fast as it should be.”

-       Larry Page


Larry Page is a computer scientist and an internet entrepreneur, popularly known for co-founding Google, Alphabet Inc., and PageRank. He ranks No. 8 on Forbes 2020 World's Billionaires list.

Net worth

Net worth $63.7B as of May 27, 2020.

Early life & education

Lawrence Edward Page was born on the 26th of March, 1973 in Lansing Michigan. His mother Gloria, was a computer programming instructor at Lyman Briggs College, while his father, Victor Page was a computer science professor at Michigan State University and a pioneer in computer science and artificial intelligence. Having both parents, computer-inclined, it was only natural for Page to pick up a keen interest in computers. At an early age of 6, he was able to operate with any computers he found around his home—first-generation computers. He practically became the first kid at school to submit a word-processor assignment. Unlike his peers, Page had first-hand access to computers and was fascinated by them. He would later have this to say, “the house was usually a mess, with computers, science, and technology magazines all over the place.” A life he had grown to embrace and pursue in the long run.

Page had his high school education at the East Lansing High School where he graduated in 1991. Before graduating from high school, he spent two summers at the Interlochen Center for the Arts where he enrolled as a saxophonist. He later moved on to the University of Michigan where he graduated with a B.Sc in computer science and bagged a Master's degree in computer science from Stanford University. During his undergraduate days at the University of Michigan, Page built an inkjet printer out of Lego bricks. He later re-engineered the ink cartridge and created all necessary mechanics and electronics to drive it. His intention was to use inkjet printers to print large posters at a cheaper rate. Page decided to pursue his academic interest in computers by enrolling at his alma mater, Stanford University to pursue a Doctorate degree in computer science. Only this time around, he approached computers from the mathematical point of view by exploring mathematical properties of the World Wide Web. He was keen on researching the links between webpages with the number and nature of such backlinks of the selected pages into consideration. 

Page’s parents played a crucial role in shaping his computer interest, they created a science and tech-friendly atmosphere at home, and paid attention to his curiosity which in turn “fostered creativity and invention.” Computers weren’t the only things that fascinated him, as he grew music fascinated him as well.  He spent a part of his childhood learning music composition and playing the flute. He further pursued his music interest by enrolling at the Interlochen Arts Camp, Interlochen, Michigan. According to page his love for computers and music are inseparable as musical education spur his “impatience and obsession” with computing speed. In an interview, Page had this to say about music, “in some sense, I feel like music training led to high-speed legacy of Google for me. Time is like the primary thing… if you think about it from a music point of view, if you’re a percussionist, you hit something, it’s got to happen in milliseconds, fractions of a second.”


In 1998, Page teamed up with Sergey Brin, a fellow Ph.D. student at Stanford, to author a research paper titled “The Anatomy of Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine”, which became one of the most recognized and cited scientific research documents in the history of the internet at that time. Page and Brin developed the PageRank algorithm (named after Page) which was used to convert the backlink data gathered from BackRub’s web crawler to rank page results according to their level of importance. With this, the duo created a proper search engine which was able to list results based on page-popularity. The search engine was then officially named ‘Google’ which was gotten from the mathematical term ‘googol’ which is a term used to refer to the No.1 followed by hundred zeros.  Their goal was basically “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”



In 1998, the duo officially launched the company, Google after raising a sum of $1 million from friends, family, and other investors. The pair began by first experimenting with smaller servers to enable Google to fit into each square meter of third-party warehouses they had rented for their servers. By doing this, they modified the search engine to accelerate at high speed compared to its competitors.

In 2000, Google was rated the ‘most comprehensive search engine’ as it had already indexed 1 billion internet URLs. The NEC Research Institute stated in its June press release that there were over 1 billion web pages, and Google provided access to 560 million full-text indexed web pages and another 500 million partially indexed URLs at the time.

In 2001, Page officially assumed the position of Google’s CEO. Like every other CEO would, Page had his own management style and strategies which would involve dissolving all non-engineering managers who all Google’s engineers had previously reported to. In his words, it wasn’t proper for non-engineers to supervise the work of engineers due to their inadequate technical knowledge. Though this new advancement wasn’t embraced by all Google employees, especially those directly affected, it eventually became a standard across Silicon Valley.

Google experienced expansion with a change in management when Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley’s biggest investors, accepted to invest $50 million in Google only if Page would step aside as the CEO. Which he adhered to. By 2004, Google had new leadership, Eric Schmidt. At this time, Google experienced a major shift and growth in all aspects including its IPO.

In 2005, Page acquired Android on behalf of Google for $50 million. The aim was to make Google search engine accessible to handheld computers, thereby covering more customer grounds. Through the acquisition, Page spent more time with Android CEO and co-founder, Andy Rubin. The collaboration of both parties led to the creation of T-Mobile. The first T-Mobile model was launched in September 2008. It became the first phone to used Android software. By 2010, about 17% of the handset market was made up of Android sales, beating Apple, its major competitor for the first time.

In 2006, Google acquired YouTube, the most popular website for streaming videos. The acquisition was worth $1.65 billion in stock. By 2015, Page and Brin announced the launch of Alphabet, a new parent company of Google. The aim of the company was to oversee the affairs of Google and its subsidiaries.

Since the early 2000s, Google has undergone remarkable changes and expansion. By the end of Schmidt's tenure as CEO in 2011, the company was worth over $180 billion with over 24,000 employees.

For his love of daring innovations, and creating things that have not yet been created, Page has invested in Tesla Motors, and greatly supports Musk’s dreams of commercially transporting people into space. He had this to say about Musk, “He [Musk] wants to go to Mars to back up humanity. That’s a worthy goal. We have a lot of employees at Google who’ve become pretty wealthy. You’re working because you want to change the world and make it better… I’d like for us to help out more than we are.”



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