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Reid Hoffman was born in Palo Alto, California and raised in Berkeley, where both of his parents were attorneys. He attended public schools in Berkeley until high school. Convinced that he learned best in smaller classes, he successfully lobbied his mother and father to place him in a private high school close to home. May 21, 2012: Reid Hoffman featured in Forbes magazine as “Silicon Valley’s Best Connected Billionaire. In all these areas, his overriding fascination lay in the communication of ideas and the exchange of information. Hoffman graduated from Stanford University in 1990 with a bachelor of science degree in symbolic systems and cognitive science, and won a Marshall Scholarship to study at Oxford. He earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Wolfson College, Oxford University, in 1993.
Hoffman aspired to a career as a writer, professor and public intellectual, but following his studies at Oxford, he began to look for a way to have a more direct impact on society than he believed he could achieve through an academic career. On returning to Northern California, he canvassed Stanford friends for job prospects in the region’s burgeoning technology sector. Reid Hoffman, a 1993 Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, meets a new generation of Marshall Scholars at the 2014 International Achievement Summit in San Francisco. At the same time, Hoffman’s Stanford friend Peter Thiel approached him about joining the board of his own start-up. Hoffman’s share of the sale enabled him to invest in other promising ideas while pursuing one of his own.