Salman Amin Khan (born October 11, 1976), commonly known as Sal Khan, is an American educator and the founder of Khan Academy, a free online non-profit educational platform and an organization with which he has produced over 6,500 video lessons teaching a wide spectrum of academic subjects, originally focusing on mathematics and science. He is also the founder of Khan Lab School, a brick-and-mortar private school in Mountain View, California.
As of October 2022[update], the Khan Academy channel on YouTube has 7.51 million subscribers, and its videos have been viewed more than 1.97 billion times. In 2012, Time named Khan in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In the same year, Forbes magazine featured Khan on its cover, with the story “$1 Trillion Opportunity.”
Early life and family
Salman Amin Khan was born on October 11, 1976 to Bengali Muslim parents Fakhrul Amin Khan (d. 1990) and Masuda Khan in Metairie, Louisiana. His father was a physician, and originally hailed from the village of Rahmatpur in Babuganj, Barisal District, Bangladesh. They are descended from Rahmat Khan, a Pathan chieftain who was killed in conflict with Raja Kandarpanarayan Rai of Chandradwip in the 16th century. Khan’s grandfather, Abdul Wahab Khan was the 3rd Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan. His mother, Masuda Khan, is from Murshidabad in West Bengal, India.
He attended Grace King High School, where, as he recalls, “a few classmates were fresh out of jail and others were bound for top universities.” He was a cartoonist for the high school’s newspaper. Khan took upper-level mathematics courses at the University of New Orleans while he was in high school and graduated as valedictorian in 1994.
He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), graduating with Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Course 6 (electrical engineering and computer science), and another bachelor’s degree in Course 18 (mathematics), in 1998. In his final year, Khan was the president of the “Senior Gift Committee,” a philanthropy program of the graduating class.
Khan also holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. In 2002, Khan was a summertime intern at PARC. From 2003 to late 2009, he worked as a hedge fund analyst at Connective Capital Management.
In 2004, Khan began tutoring his cousin, Nadia, in mathematics over the internet using Yahoo!’s Doodle notepad. When other relatives and friends sought his tutoring, he moved his tutorials to YouTube, where he created an account on November 16, 2006.
The popularity of his educational videos on the video-sharing website prompted Khan to quit his job as a financial analyst in late 2009. He moved his focus to developing his YouTube channel, Khan Academy, full-time with the aid of close friend Josh Gefner. Khan subsequently received sponsorship from Ann Doerr, the wife of John Doerr.
His videos received worldwide interest from both students and non-students, with more than 458 million views in the first number[quantify] of years. Khan outlined his mission as to “accelerate learning for students of all ages. With this in mind, we want to share our content with whoever may find it useful.” Khan plans to extend the “free school” to cover topics such as English literature.
Khan published a book about Khan Academy and education goals titled The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined. Khan Academy, initially a tool for students, added the Coach feature in 2012, promoting the connection of teachers with students through videos and monitor tools. In 2012, Khan received the American Academy of Achievement’s Gold Medal. In 2014, Khan received the 19th Annual Heinz Award in the Human Condition category.
In 2015, Khan announced that Khan Academy was partnering with the College Board to create free practice resources for the SAT test. As of June 2022[update], Khan Academy’s videos on YouTube had been viewed over 1.9 billion times.
Khan believes that supplementing traditional classroom education with the technology being developed by his Academy can improve the effectiveness of teachers by freeing them from traditional lectures and giving them more time for instruction specific to individual students’ needs.
Stanford AI researcher Andrew Ng has named Khan as a huge inspiration for the founding of Coursera, one of the first massive open online course (MOOC) platforms.
Khan is married to a Pakistani physician, Umaima Marvi. The couple live with their children in Mountain View, California.
Khan has said about his beliefs:
“If you believe in trying to make the best of the finite number of years we have on this planet (while not making it any worse for anyone else), think that pride and self-righteousness are the cause of most conflict and negativity, and are humbled by the vastness and mystery of the Universe, then I’m the same religion as you.”