When Larry Met Sergey

With Google’s founders withdrawing from management duties, a look back at how the partnership that would organize the world’s information began

Steven Levy
Marker
Published in
16 min readDec 6, 2019

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Credit: James Leynse/Getty Images

InIn the summer of 1995, right before he joined graduate school at Stanford, a 22-year-old Larry Page attended a program for accepted students that included a tour of San Francisco. His tour guide was a Rollerblading, trapeze-loving, mathematically inclined computer science grad student Page’s age who’d been at Stanford for two years.

“I thought he was pretty obnoxious,” Page would later say of the guide, Sergey Brin.

As the son of computer scientists, Page grew up in Lansing, Michigan, with computers as his primary language, later earning a degree in computer science at the University of Michigan. He was not a social animal — people who talked to him often wondered if there were a jigger of Asperger’s in the mix — and he could unnerve people by simply not talking.

Still, to those who knew him, Page’s intelligence and imagination were clear, and so was his ambition. And in 1995, Stanford was not only the best place to pursue cutting-edge computer science but, because of the internet boom, was also the world capital of ambition.

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Steven Levy
Marker

Writing for Wired, Used to edit Backchannel here. Just wrote Facebook: The Inside Story.