An early investor in Facebook, Thiel currently sits on the social-media giant’s board, which he first joined in 2005. Following Facebook’s IPO in 2012, Thiel sold about 20 million of the 26 million Facebook shares he owned at the time for $400 million.
Thiel has a net worth of $2.6 billion, according to Forbes. He first amassed his wealth after co-founding PayPal, which eBay acquired for $1.5 billion in 2002. Thiel also co-founded Palantir Technologies, a data-analytics and antifraud software company valued at $20 billion, in which he owns a significant stake.
Thiel has been the tech industry’s biggest booster of Donald Trump, having donated $1.25 million to Trump’s presidential campaign and organized a meeting of tech CEOs with Trump last December. Recently, however, Thiel has reportedly become disillusioned with the administration.
Last year, Thiel was revealed to have funded Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit and two other suits against Gawker Media, which led to Gawker’s filing for bankruptcy and the sale of most of its assets to Univision Communications. Thiel, who said in a speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention that “I’m proud to be gay,” remained upset about a 2007 Gawker article that reported he was gay.