Chris Hughes (born November 26, 1983) is an American entrepreneur who co-founded and served as spokesman for the online social directory and networking site Facebook, with Harvard roommates Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Andrew McCollum. He was the publisher and editor-in-chief of ''The New Republic'' from 2012 to 2016. Hughes is a co-chair of the Economic Security Project. In 2018, Hughes published ''Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn''. In May 2019 Hughes published an op-ed in the ''New York Times'', calling for the "Break Up of Facebook" and government regulation of content on it and in June of the same year, he criticized the Facebook decision to launch Libra, saying that the cryptocurrency "would shift power into the wrong hands if, at least, the coin be modestly successful".

Early life and education

Hughes grew up in Hickory, North Carolina, as the only child of Arlen "Ray" Hughes, an industrial paper salesman, and Brenda Hughes, a mathematics teacher. He was raised as an evangelical Lutheran. He graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts before earning a Bachelor of Arts in History and English literature from Harvard College. In February 2020, it was reported that Hughes was in the process of earning his Master of Arts in Economics from The New School for Social Research in New York City.



During his freshman year at Harvard in 2002, Hughes met and was recruited by Mark Zuckerberg, who at the time was still working in the early stages of Facebook. For the next two years, Hughes was unofficially responsible for beta testing and product suggestions. When the group had the idea to open Facebook to other schools, Hughes argued that schools should have their own networks to maintain the intimacy feel. He was also a key driver in developing many of Facebook’s popular features, which led to the opening of Facebook to the outside world. As a result of that, Hughes became the de facto Facebook spokesman. In 2004, Hughes, Zuckerberg and Moskovitz traveled to Palo Alto during their summer break. After the summer break, while Zuckerberg and Moskovitz decided to remain in Palo Alto, Hughes decided to return to Harvard to continue his studies. In 2006, he graduated ''magna cum laude'' from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in history and literature. He then relocated to Palo Alto to rejoin Zuckerberg and Moskovitz and became involved in Facebook again. In 2019, he wrote an op-ed in The New York Times calling for the break up of Facebook.

After Facebook

In 2007, Hughes left Facebook to volunteer for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. In March 2009, Hughes was named Entrepreneur in Residence at General Catalyst, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, venture-capital firm. He was the executive director of Jumo, a non-profit social network organization which he founded in 2010, which "aims to help people find ways to help the world". In July 2010, UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) appointed him to a 17-member "High Level Commission" of renowned politicians, business leaders, human rights activists, and scientists tasked with spearheading a "social and political action campaign over the coming year aimed at galvanizing support for effective HIV prevention programmes."

''The New Republic''

In March 2012, Hughes purchased a majority stake in ''The New Republic'' magazine. He became the publisher and executive chairman, and also served as editor-in-chief of the magazine. In December 2014, shortly after the magazine's centennial celebration, editor Franklin Foer and literary editor Leon Wieseltier were "driven out" and dozens of other staff and contributing editors resigned after a new chief executive, Guy Vidra, a former Yahoo! employee, described the new direction of the magazine as a "vertically integrated digital media company." The magazine was forced to cancel its upcoming issue due to the staff departures. The magazine was not profitable during Hughes' tenure. On January 11, 2016, Hughes put ''The New Republic'' up for sale, saying he had "underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate." Hughes' ownership of ''The New Republic'' was described by ''The New York Times'' as a "vanity project." He sold the magazine on February 26, 2016, to Oregon publisher Win McCormack.

Personal life

Hughes is married to Sean Eldridge, political director of Freedom to Marry. Hughes and Eldridge announced their engagement in January 2011 at a reception in support of Freedom to Marry. They married on June 30, 2012. The couple bought a $2 million residence in New York's 19th congressional district with the reported purpose of permitting Eldridge to run for the congressional seat there. Eldridge lost his 2014 bid for a congressional seat by 28 points. Hughes endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the run-up for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In popular culture

Hughes was portrayed by actor Patrick Mapel in the 2010 film ''The Social Network''.


Further reading

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External links

at Facebook
Founder and Executive Director
profile at Jumo
Entrepreneur in Residence
at General Catalyst Partners * {{DEFAULTSORT:Hughes, Chris Category:1983 births Category:21st-century American businesspeople Category:American company founders Category:American computer businesspeople Category:American Internet celebrities Category:Facebook employees Category:Harvard College alumni Category:LGBT businesspeople from the United States Category:LGBT people from New York (state) Category:LGBT people from North Carolina Category:HIV/AIDS activists Category:Living people Category:Phillips Academy alumni Category:People from Garrison, New York Category:People from Hickory, North Carolina