(Editor's note: October is LGBT History Month, celebrated annually to recognize the notable achievements of LGBT people throughout time. Each day this month, Equality Forum will feature one LGBT icon who has made notable contributions to society and SDGLN will publish the story here in the Causes section.)
Chris Hughes is an entrepreneur and a co-founder of Facebook. He is the publisher and editor in chief of The New Republic, a leading public policy magazine.
Hughes, born Nov. 26, 1983, grew up in North Carolina, the only son of a teacher and a salesman. He attended Phillips Academy on an academic scholarship before enrolling at Harvard University. Hughes, along with college roommates Mark Zuckerburg, Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moskovitz, founded Facebook. Beginning as a social networking site for Harvard students, Facebook became a global phenomenon connecting more than 900-million users.
In 2007, Hughes left Facebook to work on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. As the coordinator for online organizing, he developed My.BarackObama.com, which enabled supporters to create local events, set personal fund-raising goals and join campaign groups. Hughes mobilized millions of young voters and raised more than $30 million. In 2009, Fast Company dubbed him “The Kid Who Made Obama President.” Hughes’s successful strategy, which utilized social media as an effective campaign tool, revolutionized modern politics.
In 2010, Hughes founded Jumo, a nonprofit social networking organization. It has connected millions of activists to organizations working to improve communities worldwide.
Hughes has served as a member of the United Nations AIDS High Level Commission on HIV Prevention. In 2011, he announced his engagement to Sean Eldridge, senior advisor for Freedom to Marry. Both powerful advocates for marriage equality, they have donated more than $1 million to support same-sex marriage.
In 2012, Hughes purchased The New Republic and legally married Eldridge.
“Social media is an online extension of the conversations at the dinner table.”