Sam Altman

Samuel Harris Altman, born on April 22, 1985, in Chicago, Illinois, is an American entrepreneur and investor. He is best known as the CEO of OpenAI since 2019.

Early Life and Education

Altman was born into a Jewish family and grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. His mother is a dermatologist, while his father was a real estate broker. He attended John Burroughs School, a private school in Ladue, Missouri. After two years at Stanford University studying computer science, he dropped out without earning a bachelor’s degree.

Career and Contributions

Altman co-founded Loopt, a location-based social networking mobile application, at the age of 191. As CEO, Altman raised more than $30 million in venture capital for the company. In March 2012, it was acquired by the Green Dot Corporation for $43.4 million. The following month, Altman co-founded Hydrazine Capital with his brother, Jack Altman.

In 2011, Altman became a partner at Y Combinator, a startup accelerator that invests in a wide range of startups. In February 2014, Altman was named president of Y Combinator by its co-founder, Paul Graham. In a 2014 blog post, Altman said that the total valuation of Y Combinator companies had surpassed $65 billion, including Airbnb, Dropbox, Zenefits, and Stripe.

In March 2019, YC announced Altman’s transition from the president of the company to a less hands-on role as Chairman of the Board, for him to focus on OpenAI.

Awards and Recognitions

In 2023, Altman was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world and CEO of the Year by Time magazine. He was also recognized as one of the “Best Young Entrepreneurs in Technology” by Businessweek in 2008, and the top investor under 30 by Forbes magazine in 2015.

Personal Life Altman has been a vegetarian since childhood. He is gay and came out at the age of 17 in high school. He is in a relationship with Oliver Mulherin, an Australian programmer.

Career Journey

Sam Altman started his career as a researcher at PC Magazine. After working in this role for six months, he landed a position as a writer for the magazine. He worked there for a decade before moving to the West Coast to become a US Editor for The Register, a British Magazine. It was while working for the Register that he truly realized his love for “news” and his passion for covering the emerging world of technology and the people in it.

Influence and Legacy

Sam Altman’s influence extends beyond his companies. His vision for the future of AI has sparked worldwide interest and debate. He has been a driving force behind the shift towards deep learning and has made significant contributions to the field of AI. His ambitious plans for AI have reinvigorated interest in AI research. Through his work, he has brought attention to the potential of AI and the integration of AI with various fields.


While Sam Altman has not published academic papers, he has written and spoken extensively about his vision for the future of technology, AI, and deep learning. His work has been widely read and discussed.

Awards and Recognitions

In addition to the awards mentioned earlier, Sam Altman has received several other prestigious awards and recognitions, including being listed in the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful people multiple times and Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013, 2018, and 2021.

Personal Life

In his personal life, Sam Altman is known to have two daughters.

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