He's an Ace! 5 Things to Know About Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams' Fiancé
The tennis star announced her engagement to the tech entrepreneur on Thursday
If you were sinking into a deep, dark depression because of all the tragic news coming out of the tail-end of 2016, we have some glad tidings for you: Serena Williams is engaged, her fiancé seems like a pretty awesome guy, and we might have just found our new favorite celebrity couple.
If you haven’t heard of Ohanian, 33, or his relationship with Williams, 35, that’s probably because they’re extremely low-key. For the most part, they keep their love off of social media. (Except, of course, for this epic picture.) But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to say about the guy — so here are five fast facts you need to know about the tech guru, who reportedly started dating Williams in 2015.
1. He’s kind of a big deal …
While you might not recognize his name, Ohanian is significantly accomplished in the tech world. After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2005, Ohanian and his co-founder (and UVA roommate) Steve Huffman started Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet,” which is now the seventh largest website in the U.S — and has been valued at $500 million by venture capitalists.
In 2006, Ohanian and Huffman sold Reddit to Condé Nast, but the two continued to work closely with the site as members of its board of directors and in 2015, they returned as CEOs of a fully independent Reddit.
Over the years, Ohanian — who has snagged a few spots on Forbes‘ 30 Under 30 list — has invested in and advised over two hundred tech startups, and also helped launch hipmunk, a consumer-oriented online travel company that was acquired by Concur in 2016. He also created and hosted a show, Small Empires, about tech startups, and became a national best-selling author after publishing his 2013 book, Without Their Permission.
2. … and he’s a big guy.
Williams — one of history’s greatest athletes, who dominates tennis courts around the world — is 5-foot-9. So it definitely doesn’t hurt that Ohanian is 6-foot-5.
3. He really, really likes the internet.
Ohanian calls himself an activist for the open internet. In late 2010 and early 2011, Ohanian spoke out against Congress’ Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA), helping lead Internet-enabled grassroots campaigns that eventually overturned the two bills. In addition to helping launch the anti-SOPA/PIPA protests, Ohanian also spoke to members of Congress and at rallies.
Forbes has elected him “mayor of the internet” and the New York Times has dubbed him “the internet’s own cheerleader” — a “smiling evangelist of the New York tech scene.” So basically, he’s smart and charismatic.
4. He gives back.
Ohanian was born to an Armenian-American father — whose ancestors were Armenian Genocide survivors — and a German-born mother. In 2010, he spent three months volunteering and working in microfinance as a Kiva Fellow in Yerevan, Armenia.
5. He’s funny — and creative.
Ohanian is clever — or at least his website bio is: “Alexis was born in Brooklyn, NY but grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, MD where he slowly realized his desire to play professional football would potentially not pan out,” it reads. “So, after graduating from UVA, he turned his efforts towards making the internet a better place. … While he is still patiently awaiting the news of his starting position in the NFL, he currently spends his free time investing in startups, passionately cheering on the Washington Redskins, and [FaceTiming] his cat, Karma. His mother always told him he was special.”