Jawed Karim (Bengali: জাওয়েদ করিম; born October 28, 1979) is an American software engineer and Internet entrepreneur of Bangladeshi and German descent. He is a co-founder of YouTube and the first person to upload a video to the site. This inaugural video, titled Me at the zoo and uploaded on April 23, 2005, has been viewed over 218 million times, as of January 8, 2022. During Karim's time working at PayPal, where he met the fellow YouTube co-founders Steven Chen and Chad Hurley, he had designed many of the core components including its real-time anti-Internet-fraud system.
Jawed Karim was born on October 28, 1979, in Merseburg, East Germany, to a Bangladeshi father and a German mother. His father Naimul Karim (Bengali: নাইমুল করিম) is a Muslim Bangladeshi who works as a researcher at 3M, and his mother, Christine, is a German scientist of biochemistry at the University of Minnesota. He was the elder of two boys. He crossed the inner German border with his family in the early 1980s because of xenophobia, growing up in Neuss, West Germany.[note 1] Experiencing xenophobia there as well, Karim moved with his family to Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1992. He graduated from Saint Paul Central High School in 1997, and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.] He left campus prior to graduating to become an early employee at PayPal; however, he continued his coursework, earning his bachelor's degree in computer science. He subsequently earned a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University. In addition to English, Jawed speaks German and Bengali.
In university, Karim served an Internship at Silicon Graphics, Inc., where he worked on 3D voxel data management for very large data sets for volume rendering, including the data for the Visible Human Project. While working at PayPal in 2002, he met Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Three years later, in 2005, they founded the video-sharing website YouTube. Karim created the first channel on YouTube, "jawed", on April 23, 2005 PDT (April 24, 2005 UTC), and uploaded the website's first video, Me at the zoo, the same day.
After co-founding the company and developing the YouTube concept and website with Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, Karim enrolled as a graduate student in computer science at Stanford University while acting as an adviser to YouTube. When the site was introduced in February 2005, Karim agreed not to be an employee and simply be an informal adviser, and that he was focusing on his studies. As a result, he took a much lower share in the company compared to Hurley and Chen. Because of his smaller role in the company, Karim was mostly unknown to the public as the third founder until YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006. Despite his lower share in the company, the purchase was still large enough that he received 137,443 shares of stock, worth about $64 million based on Google's closing stock price at the time.
In October 2006, Karim gave a lecture about the history of YouTube at the University of Illinois annual ACM Conference entitled YouTube From Concept to Hyper growth. Karim returned again to the University of Illinois in May 2008 as the 136th and youngest Commencement Speaker in the school's history.
In 2018, Karim was arrested for several counts of Money Fraud, Prosecutors reduced the charges to 4 counts of Money Fraud Karim Pled Guilty and mentioned how ashamed he was for committing the crime he was ordered to pay a bond of $10,000 fine.