Life is good for Evan Spiegel.
His company, Snap Inc., is preparing for one of the most hotly anticipated initial public offerings of 2017 at a valuation of about $20 billion. The Snapchat app is beloved by teens everywhere, and Snap’s recently released Spectacles glasses are one of the most sought-after gadgets.
And with an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion, Spiegel, 26, is the youngest self-made billionaire in the world, according to Forbes.
He lives a charmed life and he knows it.
“I am a young, white, educated male,” he once said at a Stanford business conference. “I got really, really lucky. And life isn’t fair.”
Spiegel grew up in the Pacific Palisades, a ritzy Los Angeles enclave just east of Malibu. He is the older son of two Ivy League-educated lawyers. His parents divorced when he was in high school.
When Spiegel turned 16 and got his driver’s license, he was given a Cadillac Escalade, which he parked in the gated Southern California Edison parking lot next to his school. Spiegel’s father represented Edison during the energy crisis.
Spiegel spent his early years at an ultra-exclusive school called Crossroads in Santa Monica, which costs tens of thousands per academic year. Other notable alumni include Tinder cofounder Sean Rad, Kate Hudson, Jonah Hill, Jack Black, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Around the time that he landed a marketing internship with Red Bull, Spiegel decided that he wanted a more fuel-efficient car to drive around the city in. In a letter from 2008, Spiegel asked his parents to lease him a BMW 550i, which retails for about $75,000. “Cars bring me sheer joy,” he wrote. “I would really appreciate you validating me and all of my hard work by leasing the BMW.”
The 26-year-old has been named the youngest self-made billionaire in the world by Forbes for the past two years. He has an estimated net worth of $2.1 billion.