Founder of the GoDaddy website and astute businessman Bob Parsons is used to breaking the mold. A man who spent his whole life feeling like an outsider, Parsons has surprised industry analysts, aid organizations and fellow billionaires alike with his decision to give his entire fortune to the needy, intent on proving you can still have it all while giving everything you have away.
Born in a poor neighborhood in Baltimore, Parsons struggled through his early years. His academic performance was poor and his prospects seemed dim. There was no indication in his early life of the billionaire success he would later become. His various jobs to earn pocket money were menial; he sold newspapers, worked in construction, pumped gas and toiled in factories for minimum wage, seeming directionless to those around him.
The turning point in his life came when he joined the Marines. The Vietnam War was raging at the height of confrontation in 1969 and he was quickly deployed to the Qu?ng Nam Province, where his distinction in battle earned him several awards, including the prestigious Purple Heart for a battle wound that left him recuperating in the hospital for two months. Parsons would later credit his time and training in the military for giving him self discipline, a strong work ethic and a confident self image.
The formerly poor student then attended the University of Baltimore, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1975 with a degree in Accounting. He founded his company, Parsons Technology, after graduation and began selling accounting software. Eventually parting with the business for $64 million dollars, Parsons engaged in his next endeavor, a web domain hosting site named GoDaddy. His innovative vision and delight in taking risks vaulted this business into inhabiting 25 percent of market share during his tenure as the company’s CEO.
Parsons has become a model for other billionaires and philanthropists with his selfless decision to give his fortune to charitable causes. Reasoning that he came into the world with nothing and certainly cannot use his fortune when he is gone, Parsons and his wife are fully committed to the long process of vetting suitable charities to be recipients of donations from their Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation. As Parsons maintains, while it is easy to give away money, it is sometimes difficult to give it away when ensuring the money will go to the right cause. To date he has given away only a fraction of his vast two billion dollar fortune.
Once a poor student from a humble background, Parsons has now become an inspiration for philanthropists, businesspersons and those who dream of success. Not without the occasional controversy, this self made billionaire, savvy businessman, avid partier and innovative inventor aims to prove that giving to the poor and underprivileged will be his finest triumph.