NET WORTH: $2.7 billion
FUNDING AREAS: Education, Bay Area Community
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Cofounder of Yahoo
OVERVIEW: Thus far, Jerry Yang and his wife Akiko's grantmaking has been limited to a few large grants to educational institutions, primarily his alma mater, Stanford. They also support the Bay Area community, including arts institutions.
BACKGROUND: Jerry Yang was born in Taiwan, his father died when he was two, and he came to California with his mother when he was 10. In 1994, while he was a doctoral student at Stanford, Yang and David Filo came up with the "Jerry and Dave's Guide to the World Wide Web," which became Yahoo! in 1995. In 2016, Verizon bought Yahoo in a $5 billion deal.
EDUCATION: Yang and Akiko gave a $75 million grant to Yang's alma mater, Stanford, where he is a trustee. At least $50 million of the grant was designated for the construction of the new Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building, which has come to be known on campus as Y2E2 and serves as the university's center for environmental studies. Back in 1997, he and David Filo became the youngest people to ever endow a chair at the university. Their $2 million gift created the Yahoo! Founders Professorship at the Engineering School, which focused on information technology.
BAY AREA COMMUNITY: Yang and Akiko are patrons of the arts as well as art collectors. Yang traces his interest in calligraphy to his childhood in Taipei, Taiwan, when he would take his calligraphy kit on the bus to class to learn the traditional art form. Back in 2012, he assembled a selection of Chinese calligraphy at the Asian Art Museum. His collection subsequently traveled to the Met in 2014. The couple have donated more than $2 million to the San Francisco Ballet and $3 million to Stanford's Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Yang also serves on the board of the Asian Pacific Fund, which provides financial support, including scholarships and education programs, to help Bay Area Asian Americans. The couple recently made $25 million in grants toward a $90-million "transformation project" of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, which Akiko chairs.
LOOKING FORWARD: Jerry Yang has shown a growing interest in the virtual reality space. Akiko is an equestrian and co-founder of the Wildlife Conservation Network, so perhaps some major environmental and animal philanthropy is down the line.
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