Priscilla Chan Profile: Meet the Modest Mrs Zuckerberg
on May 21, 2012 10:32 AM EDT
As the new wife of Mark Zuckerberg, all eyes are on Priscilla Chan. Who is she and what is her background? We know that Chan and Zuckerberg met nine years ago at a party in Harvard. Both were waiting in line for the bathroom when the two apparently hit it off.
Chan, 27, recently graduated from University of California San Francisco medical school, one of the best in the country. Her graduation day happened to be the same day Zuckerberg turned 28. "I'm so proud of you, Dr. Chan :)." - is what Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook.
According to the Patriot Ledger, Chan was the valedictorian of her high school class in 2003. She is a native of Braintree, Massachusetts. She graduated from Harvard with a biology major in 2007 and went on to work as a fourth and fifth grade teacher in San Jose before deciding to enter medical school at UCSF to be a pediatrician in 2008. She plans to begin working as a pediatrician later this year.
Chan has a reputation for being a very down-to-earth girl. A very modest, no-nonsense, and rather unpretentious lady who has won the heart of one of the richest men in the world. There is no doubt that Chan influences Zuckerberg with her ethics in life.
It was Chan who inspired Zuckerberg to create a new tool on Facebook that allow users to add their organ donation status due to her passion for sick children she met during her medical training. Zuckerberg told ABC's Robin Roberts: "[Priscilla will] see them getting sicker and then all of a sudden an organ becomes available and she comes home and her face is all lit up because someone's life is going to better because of this." Within a few days of the new tool launching, over 1000 new donors signed up, according to Donor Life.
Chan, who is Chinese-American, also inspired Zuckerberg to learn Mandarin and have been spotted vacationing in China.
When the two first met, Chan thought Zuckerberg was just "this nerdy guy who was just a little bit out there," according to The New Yorker. She was not portrayed in the Hollywood movie about her famous husband and his company.
According to a Harvard Crimson story about Zuckerberg in 2005, he asked Chan: "Hey Priscilla, do you want a job at the facebook?"
"I'd love a job at facebook," Priscilla Chan '07 responded, offering him a Twizzler. She did not take up the job offer then.
After finishing her degree in Harvard, Chan moved to Palo Alto to live with her then-boyfriend. She famously made him sign a "contract", which says "One date per week, a minimum of a hundred minutes of alone time, not in his apartment and definitely not at Facebook," according to Sarah Lacy's book Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good.
Zuckerberg's marriage status got over 1 million likes in less than two days after he updated his status to "married." The couple managed to keep the marriage top secret by pretending to hold a party for Chan's graduation from UCSF. The guests were totally taken by surprise when they found out it was a actually a wedding.
The couple adopted a dog, named Beast in March 2011. They couple set up a Facebook page for the dog which has over 561,000 likes.
Chan describes herself as "a simple creature" who "loves cooking and "soft things".
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