Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: Hacker. Dropout. CEO.

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When Mark Zuckerberg showed up in Palo Alto three years ago, he had no car, no house, and no job. Today, he’s at the helm of a smokin’-hot social-networking site, Facebook, and turning down billion-dollar offers. Can this kid be for real?
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“I’m just lucky to be alive.” Mark Zuckerberg, the 22-year-old founder and CEO of social-networking site Facebook, is talking about the time he came face-to-face with the barrel of a gun. It was the spring of 2005, and he was driving from Palo Alto to Berkeley.
Just a few hours earlier, he had signed documents that secured a heady $12.7 million in venture capital to finance his fledgling business. It was a coming-of-age moment, and he was on his way to celebrate with friends in the East Bay. But things turned weird when he pulled off the road for gas. As Zuckerberg got out of the car to fill the tank, a man appeared from the shadows, waving a gun and ranting. “He didn’t say what he wanted,” Zuckerberg says. “I figured he was on drugs.” Keeping his eyes down, Zuckerberg said nothing, got back into his car, and drove off, unscathed.
Today, it is an episode that he talks about only reluctantly. (A former employee spilled the beans.) But it fits the road he has taken–an adventure with unexpected, sometimes harrowing, moments that has turned out better than anyone might have predicted.

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