While working on a doctorate in electrical engineering at California’s Stanford University, Jerry Yang cofounded Yahoo!, which provided one of the first and most popular Internet search engines and became one of the most successful companies to ever to do business on the World Wide Web.
Jerry Yang’s father was born on mainland China but died when Yang himself was only two. His mother moved his family from Taiwan to San Jose, California, when he was eight and changed his first name from Chih-Yuan to Jerry. Yang graduated from Piedmont Hills High School, where he was his class valedictorian and senior class president, and nearby Stanford University, where he majored in electrical engineering.
Jerry Yang speaking at a consumer electronics trade show in 2007.
After earning a master’s degree, Yang was working on his doctorate in 1994, when he and David Filo created a Web site that consisted of a directory of other Web sites. Initially called “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web,” it was later renamed “Yahoo!,” an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.” Yahoo! became so popular that Yang and Filo left graduate school to incorporate Yahoo! in 1995.
Yahoo! became one of the earliest and commercially most successful Internet search engines and web portals. Yang stepped down from active management of Yahoo! in 2009 but remained on its board of directors.
Angel, Karen. Inside Yahoo! Reinvention and the Road Ahead. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2002. Hillstrom, Kevin. Defining Moments: The Internet Revolution. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2005. Sherman, Josepha. Jerry Yang and David Filo: Chief Yahoos of Yahoo! Brookfield, Conn.: Twenty-First Century Books, 2001.