Omar Wasow

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Omar Wasow
Omar Wasow.jpg
Wasow in 2007
Omar Tomas Wasow

1970 (age 50–51)
Nairobi, Kenya

Omar Tomas Wasow (born December 22, 1970)[1] is an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University.[2] He is co-founder for the social networking website BlackPlanet.


Wasow grew up in a multi-ethnic family. His father is of German Jewish heritage, and his mother is African-American.[3] Wasow's paternal grandfather was the mathematician Wolfgang R. Wasow. Both Wolfgang Wasow and Omar Wasow's paternal grandmother are of German Jewish heritage.[citation needed]


Wasow is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School in New York City, where he was president of the student union. He then graduated from Stanford University in California with a BA degree in race and ethnic relations.[4]

Wasow earned a PhD in African-American studies, an MA in government and an MA in statistics, all from Harvard University.[5] Wasow is currently assistant professor of politics at Princeton University.[6]


In 1995, Wasow was proclaimed by Newsweek as one of the "fifty most influential people to watch in cyberspace."

In 1999 he created BlackPlanet, one of the first major social networking sites.[7] In 2008, the company was sold for $38 million.[8]


In 2012, Wasow married Jennifer Brea, a documentary filmmaker he met while they were both Ph.D. students at Harvard.[9] He appears in her documentary film Unrest about her experience living with myalgic encephalomyelitis which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Wasow's sister is the filmmaker Althea Wasow,[10] married to the writer Paul Beatty.[11]

Further reading[edit]

  • Browning, Lynnley (2001-05-13). "Silicon Alley's Philosopher-Prince". New York Times.
  • "Omar Wasow". People. 54 (20): 100. 2000-11-13.
  • "The Net 50". Newsweek. 126/127 (26/1): 42–46. 1995-12-25.


  1. ^ "The Identity of Young, Black Men". 1997. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  2. ^ University, Princeton. "Display Person – Department of Politics at Princeton University". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  3. ^ "Private Sector; Silicon Alley's Philosopher-Prince". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  4. ^ Phelan, J. Greg (1994-09-18). "Sound Bytes; Where Hipness is On-Line". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  5. ^ "About – Omar Wasow". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  6. ^ University, Princeton. "Display Person – Department of Politics at Princeton University". Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  7. ^ "Interview: BlackPlanet's Founder Talks Myspace, Why He was Skeptical of Twitter, And If Facebook May Have Peaked". Complex. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
  8. ^ "The Protesting of a Protest Paper". 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  9. ^ "Jennifer Bréa, Omar Wasow – Weddings". The New York Times. 2012-09-02. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-12-17.
  10. ^ "Bio". eileenwasow. Retrieved 2021-06-04.
  11. ^ Millen, Robbie, [1], The Times, October 25, 2016.

External links[edit]