Craig Newmark

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Craig Newmark
Born (1952-12-06) December 6, 1952 (age 64)
Morristown, New Jersey, United States
Residence San Francisco
Alma mater Case Western Reserve University
Occupation Computer programmer
Known for Founder of the website Craigslist
Spouse(s) Eileen Whelpley (m. 2012)

Craig Alexander Newmark (born December 6, 1952) is an American Internet entrepreneur best known for being the founder of the San Francisco-based international website Craigslist.

Early life[edit]

Newmark was born in Morristown, New Jersey, the son of Joyce and Lee Newmark.[1] Growing up, he attended a Jewish religious school.[2] His father, an insurance salesman, died when he was thirteen and his mother struggled financially,[2] moving Craig and his brother Jeff into an apartment in Jacob Ford Village.[1] In 1971, he graduated from Morristown High School[1] and thanks to scholarships,[2] attended college at Case Western Reserve University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in 1975 and a master of science degree in 1977.[3]


Newmark in 2014

After college, Newmark worked at IBM for 17 years as a programmer, living in New Jersey, Boca Raton, Florida and Detroit. In 1993, he moved to San Francisco to work for Charles Schwab, where he was introduced to the Internet—which at that time was still commercial-free.[1] A self-professed nerd,[4] he developed Craigslist as a free marketplace where people could come together – without charge – and exchange information. It has been described as an "internet commune."[1]

Newmark remains active at Craigslist in customer service, dealing mostly with spammers and scammers.[5] He also operates Craigconnects,[6] a site that publicizes charitable organizations.[7]

Currently, Newmark devotes most of his time to philanthropy, focusing on services for veterans, teachers and fighting online harassment.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Newmark splits his time between San Francisco's Cole Valley and the West Village in New York City.[9] He describes himself as a non-practicing, secular Jew,[2] joking that his rabbi was the late singer Leonard Cohen.[2] Newmark married Eileen Whelpley in December 2012.[10]

In May 2017, Forbes estimated that Newmark's net worth is at least $1.3 billion based on his ownership of at least 42% of Craiglist.[11] He called a prior $400 million Forbes estimate of his net worth "bogus." In an interview published in 2017 he said that "By monetizing Craigslist the way I did in 1999, I probably gave away already 90 percent or more of my potential net worth."[12] Newmark has described his business philosophy as "minimal profit" rather than non profit: "Basically I just decided on a different business model in ’99, nothing altruistic. While Silicon Valley VCs and bankers were telling me I should become a billionaire, I decided no one needs to be a billionaire — you should know when enough is enough. So I decided on a minimal business model, and that’s worked out pretty well. This means I can give away tremendous amounts of money to the nonprofits I believe in." [9]

Newmark has donated to the presidential campaign of Democratic Senator and former United States Secretary of State John Kerry.[1] He also supported former President Barack Obama.[13] In 2015, Variety (magazine) reported that he contributed to the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.[14]

In 2016 Newmark joined with the progressive RAD Campaign and Lincoln Park Strategies (founded by Democratic Party stalwart Stefan Hankin) to commission a poll examining user perceptions about social media conflicts during the 2016 election year.[15]

In 2006, he donated $10,000 to a non-profit group, NewAssignment.Net, an attempt to combine the work of amateurs and professionals to produce investigative stories on the Internet.[16] In 2014 he was one of 60 Democratic Party donors who urged the creation of a system of public election funding.[17] In January 2017, TechCrunch reported that Newmark donated $500,000 to Wikipedia's attempt at "reducing harassment and vandalism on the site and improve the tools moderators use every day to keep the peace."[18] His foundation also donated $1 million in 2017 to the news organization ProPublica.[19]

In 2011, he introduced craigconnects to support non-profits and other organizations "that get things done on a sustainable basis." He declared it "the biggest thing in my life."[20]

Newmark has served as an advisor or board member for the Sunlight Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Rock the Vote, Voto Latino, the Tech Policy Summit, the Center for Public Integrity, the Center for Investigative Reporting, PolitiFact, and Consumers Union.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Morristown Daily Record: "Web guru hails from Morristown" June 26, 2004
  2. ^ a b c d e Something Jewish: "Craig Newmark interview" by Leslie Bunder December 11, 2005
  3. ^ "Case Western Reserve University selects honorary doctorates awardees". Case Western Reserve University. March 25, 2008
  4. ^ Wolf, Gary (August 24, 2009). "Why Craigslist is such a mess". Retrieved May 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ "The Josh Kornbluth Show: Craig Newmark" (SWF). KQED-TV / Google. October 17, 2005. pp. 27 minute runtime. Retrieved February 8, 2007. 
  6. ^ "craigconnects - Connecting the World for the Common Good". 
  7. ^ Mitroff, Sarah (July 16, 2012). "Craig Newmark Sits at the Top and Bottom of Craigslist". Wired. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Craig Newmark Driven by philanthropy". SF Gate. Retrieved May 22, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "Craig from Craigslist's Second Act". 1 June 2017. 
  10. ^ Drowned in a tsunami of Frappuccinos. SFGate (2012-12-27). Retrieved on 2013-08-27.
  11. ^ Ryan Mac (May 3, 2017). "Craig Newmark Founded Craigslist To Give Back, Now He's A Billionaire". Forbes. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  12. ^ Ken Doctor (16 February 2017). "Newsonomics: Craig Newmark, journalism’s new Six Million Dollar Man". Harvard College. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  13. ^ "Craig Newmark, Tech Genius, Is an Obama Man". Reagan, Gillian. October 29, 2008. Retrieved March 16, 2013. 
  14. ^ Ted Johnson (July 15, 2015). "Hillary Clinton’s Big Hollywood Donors Help Raise $46 Million-Plus". Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  15. ^ Brandy Shaul. "Poll: 57% of Americans Feel Trump Supporters Have ‘Very Aggressive’ Online Behavior" (6 May 2016). Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  16. ^ Usborne, Ryan (November 23, 2005). "Entrepreneur taps mistrust of media for new venture". The Independent. Retrieved February 8, 2006. 
  17. ^ "Major Democratic donors press Congress for campaign finance reform". February 7, 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  18. ^ Devil Coldewey (January 26, 2017). "Craig Newmark puts $500K towards reducing harassment on Wikipedia". Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  19. ^ Benjamin Mullin (1 March 2017). "Craig Newmark Foundation gives $1 million to ProPublica". Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  20. ^ Robin Wauters (8 March 2011). "Craigslist Founder Launches craigconnects: "The Biggest Thing In My Life"". Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  21. ^ "Craig Newmark". Retrieved 9 May 2017. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Craig Newmark at Wikimedia Commons