Nicholas Negroponte (born December 1, 1943) is a Greek-American architect best known as the founder and Chairman Emeritus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, and also known as the founder of the One Laptop per Child Association (OLPC).
Negroponte was born to Dimitri John Negroponte, a Greek shipping magnate, and grew up in New York City's Upper East Side. He is the younger brother of John Negroponte, former United States Deputy Secretary of State.
He attended Buckley School in New York City, Le Rosey in Switzerland, and The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut, from which he graduated in 1961. Subsequently, he studied at MIT as both an undergraduate and graduate student in Architecture where his research focused on issues of computer-aided design. He earned a Master's degree in architecture from MIT in 1966.
In 2000, Negroponte stepped down as director of the Media Lab as Walter Bender took over as Executive Director. However, Negroponte retained the role of laboratory Chairman. When Frank Moss was appointed director of the lab in 2006, Negroponte stepped down as lab chairman to focus more fully on his work with One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) although he retains his appointment as professor at MIT.
In November 2005, at the World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis, Negroponte unveiled the concept of a $100 laptop computer, The Children's Machine, designed for students in the developing world. The price has increased to US$180, however. The project is part of a broader program by One Laptop Per Child, a non-profit organisation started by Negroponte and other Media Lab faculty, to extend Internet access in developing countries.
Negroponte is an active angel investor and has invested in over 30 startup companies over the last 30 years, including Zagats, Wired, Ambient Devices, Skype and Velti. He sits on several boards, including Motorola (listed on the New York Stock Exchange) and Velti (listed on the London Stock Exchange). He is also on the advisory board of TTI/Vanguard. In August 2007, he was appointed to a five-member special committee with the objective of assuring the continued journalistic and editorial integrity and independence of the Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones & Company publications and services. The committee was formed as part of the merger of Dow Jones with News Corporation. Negroponte's fellow founding committee members are Louis Boccardi, Thomas Bray, Jack Fuller, and the late former Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn.
NOTE: Bio updated on June 14, 2011.
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