Founder and Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks, Julian Paul Assange is truly a man with many talents. He is known to be an astute computer programmer, as well as a prolific writer who has over 4 books published. Recently, his name has been plastered all over the news for being a whistleblower. But the question is, who exactly is Julian P. Assange and what’s his net worth like?
Julian Assange Net Worth As Of 2018: $400,000
You might be thinking that $400,000 for someone who’s all over the news is a number lower than your expectation. But if you look into it deeply, you will see that he was never in for the money. Some people judge him as a terrorist and a traitor, while others call him a true fighter for free speech and a brave journalist. But whichever one it is, there is one thing for sure. Julian Assange isn’t afraid to pursue what he’s passionate about, even if that goal comes with less money and a lifetime of persecution. In fact, you will understand later why money isn’t a crucial problem for him. With that being said, let’s take a look.
Julian Assange Early Life:
Born on July 3, 1971, in Queensland, Australia, Julian was the child of Christine Ann Hawkin, a visual artist, and John Shipton, a builder. Judging from how his last name is different from his biological father, Julian’s parents actually got divorced prior to his birth, and his mom remarried to actor Brett Assange. During his childhood, Julian was constantly on the move and moved up to 30 different locations before he reached his mid-teens. After a while, his family finally settled in Melbourne, Victoria where he attended Central Queensland University and later on the University of Melbourne. He indulged in studies that varied from programming, mathematics, and physics, but never received his degree.
His true passion for coding and computer programming started around the mid-1980s. In 1987, Assange started to hack for fun under the pseudonym, Mendax. His love for it escalated as he formed a group with his friends who were under the alias, “Trax” and “Prime Suspect”. Their group was known as the International Subversives. The group went on to hack into important facilities that included the Pentagon and other important U.S facilities such as the U.S Navy, Department of Defense, etc. Because of all this, he was caught and charged with over 30 counts of hacking. Julian pleaded guilty to some of them and was ordered to pay a fine instead of a harsher sentence.
During this time, Assange was working on his career as a programmer, often authoring or co-authoring projects that led to breakthroughs. He even had a website that amassed up to 5,000 user who reads his advice on computer security in 1996. He also contributed to a research book about Australian hackers called Underground, by Suelette Dreyfus. Some of his most famous works during this decade were the Transmission Control Protocol port scanner (1995), the open-source database PostgreSQL (1996), Usenet caching software NNTPCache (1996) the Rubberhose deniable encryption system (1997), and a command-line interface for web-based search engines called Surfraw (2000).
The 2000s were definitely the years Julian’s had many successes in. Here, he and his friends established WikiLeaks in 2006, a whistleblowing platform setup to obtain and spread out classified documents and data from anonymous submissions. This platform blew up and expanded with more and more controversial leaks being published, such as the Chelsea Manning controversy, Afghanistan and Iraq war logs, Snowden documents, Guantanamo files, etc. However, in 2010, Julian was hit with sexual assault accusations by two women when he visited Sweden. After the court went over the case and closed it, more allegations arose as calls of sexual molestation and coercion were announced. Julian flew to England, denied all allegations and refused to return to Sweden for interrogations. Till this day, he is still currently there.
On June 19, 2012, Ecuadorian Prime Minister Ricardo Patino announced Julian’s application for political asylum and officially granted his stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London indefinitely. He is currently still living in the embassy with fears of persecution from the United States due to his possible link to the presidential election in 2016. On November 15, 2018, Assange has been charged in a sealed indictment by the U.S and has been the face of the news ever since.
Julian Assange Net Worth & Awards:
- Economist New Media Award (2008)
- Amnesty International UK Media Awards (2009)
- TIME Person of the Year, Reader’s Choice (2010)
- Sam Adams Award (2010)
- Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal (2011)
- Martha Gellhorn Prize (2011)
- Walkley Award (2011)
- Voltaire Award for Free Speech (2011)
- Big Brother Awards Hero of Privacy (2012)
- Global Exchange Human Rights Award
- People’s Choice (2013)
- Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts (2013).