Facebook Founder's Father Offered Him a Much Different Option Than Attending Harvard in 2002

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At age 18, Mark Zuckerberg had more enticing life options than most.

Zuckerberg famously founded Facebook from his Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University dorm room in 2004. A dorm room that, in an alternate reality, he may have never even stepped foot in had he accepted his dad's post-high school career offer.

Before making the decision to attend college, the internet entrepreneur's father offered his son a future as a McDonald’s franchise owner. It's hard to imagine now, but had he accepted, social media may not be what it is today.

The American media mogul's sister Randi previously spoke with CNN Business about the proposal her dad extended to each of his four children. “My dad, funny enough, right before each of us went to college offered us the options of going to college or like investing in a franchise and running it,” she said.

Zuckerberg chose Harvard, of course, but didn't graduate from the prestigious university. He dropped out midway through his studies to focus on his new business venture, which he started with four fellow students: Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.

“I think [my parents] were like ‘Okay, you probably should have taken the McDonald’s franchise money if you wanted a business. But, okay, this might be a second good choice,’” Randi told CNN.

Although short-lived, his time at Harvard ended up making him a multi-billionaire, with a current net worth of $59.9 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. All things considered, the road less traveled was well worth it for this young visionary, who has made roughly $4.7 billion yearly since dropping out of college in 2004.

The social media platform now has over two billion users (and counting) monthly worldwide.

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