Born In: Metairie, Louisiana, United States
American entrepreneur, educator, and philanthropist Sal Khan, who has been called “…the world's first superstar teacher" by Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner, is the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, a free, non-profit source of online educational material. An MIT alumnus and a Harvard MBA, Khan initially worked in technology and then as an analyst at a Boston-based hedge fund company, before he left his day job to launch Khan Academy. Over the years, his online venture has offered quality educational content to millions of users and has expanded to over 190 countries. His instructional videos cover a wide range of topics and subjects, such as math, art history, economics, computer science, health, and cosmology. His content has been translated into multiple languages, while he has been named to TIME magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Also Known As: Salman Amin Khan, Salman Amin
Spouse/Ex-: Umaima Marvi (m. 2004)
father: Masuda Khan
mother: Fakhrul Amin Khan
Born Country: United States
Grouping of People: Muslims
education: Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, Harvard Business School, Grace King High School
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Sal Khan studied at Grace King High School in Metairie, Louisiana, where he also played guitar and sang in a heavy metal band. He initially aspired to be a cartoonist or an architect and was more interested in pursuing arts. He drew cartoons for his high-school newspaper.
In 1998, he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with three degrees: a BS in mathematics, a combined BS in electrical engineering and computer science, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering. He was the president of the philanthropy program "Senior Gift Committee" of MIT’s graduating class.
Soon after completing his education, he worked in venture capital and engineering with Oracle for 2 years, following which he earned an MBA degree from the Harvard School of Business. He also worked for various Silicon Valley start-ups and later worked as a hedge fund analyst.
In 2004, he began tutoring his cousin, Nadia, over telephone, using an interactive notepad. By the end of 2 years, he had started teaching many of his relatives and family friends through online classes. This virtually marked the beginning of his dream project, Khan Academy. He also posted educational videos on YouTube, which attracted a lot of viewers, and began writing software for practicing math and providing feedback.
By 2009, Sal Khan quit his job to run his new non-profit, Khan Academy, full time. He received financial aid from various foundations and organizations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Soon, Khan Academy built its base in Mountain View, California, and grew into a free global source of educational content through short instructional videos for all age groups. It covers students from preschool to early college levels and includes content on subjects as diverse as math, finance, computer science, medicine, history, biology, physics, chemistry, and economics.
Khan Academy offers free personalized SAT test preparation packages, too, in collaboration with the College Board. It also offers its content in dozens of languages, such as Chinese, Swahili, and Urdu, in over 190 countries.
The videos mostly feature educational visuals, accompanied by the voices of the instructors. Sal Khan, too, has been an instructor in many of Khan Academy’s videos. Khan Academy has also partnered with NASA to offer a series of tutorials to increase student awareness and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
He also founded the Khan Lab School in 2014. The independent school, based in Mountain View, California, uses a model focused on mastery-based learning and social and emotional learning. It also makes use of a mixed-age setting and groups students based on academic progress.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Sal Khan launched Schoolhouse, a non-profit resource to provide tutoring to small groups of students across the world through Zoom meetings. Schoolhouse provides certificates in partnership with major institutes such as the University of Chicago.
By the end of 2022, Khan Academy’s YouTube channel gained over 7 million subscribers, while its videos were viewed over 1.97 billion times. The online academy has, by now, created thousands of video lessons.
In 2016, Sal Khan received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, from the President of India. In 2021, Khan was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Harvard University.
Sal Khan has been covered by 60 Minutes and has also been featured on the cover of Forbes. He was also named one of TIME’s "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2012 and has also been a TED speaker.
He has also published a book, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, which highlights his journey with the Khan Academy and showcases his vision of improving the future of education.
In 2004, he married Pakistani physician, Umaima Marvi. Sal Khan had known Marvi since his MIT days and later reconnected with her during his time at Harvard, where she studied medicine.
Sal and Marvi are now parents to two children, their son, Imran, and their daughter, Diya. The family lives in Mountain View, California.
Khan has also been a board member of the international non-profit organization Aspen Institute.
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