Who Knew? Part 3: Xconomy Uncovers Even More Strange-But-True Facts About Boston’s Innovation Leaders
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the Tiananmen Square revolution, Wuer Kaixi and Shen Tong. According to Wikipedia (which doesn’t include a source for this), Wuer Kaixi is still today the second most wanted man in China. Shen Tong now runs a startup in New York.
—A third leader of the Tiananmen Square revolt, Ling Chai, is the founder, president, and chief operating officer of Boston-based Jenzabar, which offers high-tech education services.
—Inventor Dean Kamen‘s father Jack Kamen was a prolific illustrator for Mad, Weird Science, and other EC Comics publications, drawing everything from crime to humor to the macabre. EC editor Al Feldstein once said: “We gave Kamen those stories where the All-American girl and guy are married, and then chop each other to pieces.”
—Serial entrepreneur and former venture capitalist Vinit Nijhawan, who grew up in Canada, worked underground in a nickel mine in northern Manitoba to finance his undergraduate university degree at the University of Waterloo.
—Cameron Russell, eldest daughter of Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase and her husband Roy Russell (previously Zipcar’s CTO), is a well-known New York fashion model even while majoring in math and economics at Columbia University. She’s been on the cover of many magazines, most notably Italian Vogue—and Cameron and younger sister Linnea recently appeared in a Calvin Klein CK One fragrance ad together.
—In addition to modeling with her sister, Linnea Russell, a senior in high school, is a nationally ranked rock climber who competed this past weekend in the world youth rock climbing championships in Edinburgh, Scotland.
—John Glaser, now CEO of a Siemens health IT division and formerly CIO of Partners HealthCare, was kicked out an all-male Jesuit high school in the San Francisco Bay Area for his role in an underground newspaper whose coverage included beer and girls.
—Yuchun Lee, co-founder and CEO of Unica (NASDAQ: UNCA), the Waltham, MA, marketing and analytics software firm bought last month by IBM for $480 million in cold, hard cash, was a key member of the MIT blackjack team in the early 1990s. Part of that time spanned Unica’s founding. As my colleague Greg wrote of Lee in those early Unica days, “He’d leave for Las Vegas on Friday night, work with the team, and take the redeye back on Monday morning—sometimes with large amounts of cash strapped to him. He didn’t say whether he used any of his winnings to help keep Unica going in the early days—but it’s worth noting the company didn’t take any venture money until 1999.”
—Colin Angle, co-founder and CEO of iRobot, (in case you missed it in the New York Times weddings page or the Boston Globe was married in Hawaii this August to Erika Ebbel, the first (and perhaps only) MIT alum to become Miss Massachusetts. Ebbel, who also participated in the 2004 Miss America pageant, was a three-time winner of the California State Science Fair and is the founder of Science from Scientists (previously known as the WhizKids Foundation), which works with schools to get kids interested in science. She is currently pursuing her PhD in analytical biochemistry at Boston University.