Who is James H. Clark?

James H. Clark is a serial and successful entrepreneur perhaps best known for co-founding Netscape in 1994 along with Marc Andreessen. Netscape Navigator became the market leader in web browsers in the early days of the internet, but because it was not free to use, it ultimately lost market share to Microsoft's free competitor Internet Explorer, and Netscape was eventually purchased by America Online (AOL) in 1998, making him a billionaire. He exited with a $1.2 billion payout. This is quite a return on his initial investment of $4 million...300 times his investment.

Key Takeaways

  • James H. Clark is a serial and successful entrepreneur¬†perhaps best known for co-founding Netscape in 1994 along with Marc Andreessen.
  • Jim Clark is also known for multiplying his wealth through timely tech investments in companies such as Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and Palantir.
  • His latest startup is a venture called CommandScape, an app that controls everything from a building's alarms and cameras to its lighting and thermostat.

Clark's other ventures include founding Silicon Graphics, a company that produced high quality visual effects for film and 3-D images for engineers and counted George Lucas' LucasFilm and Steven Spielberg among its customers; founding Healtheon, which merged with WebMD; and being the original investor and chairman of digital photo sharing and storage website Shutterfly, founded in 1999. Clark was also an early investor in many famous tech companies that have paid off handsomely - such as Apple, Facebook, and Twitter.

Understanding James H. Clark

Born in Plainview, Texas on March 23, 1944, James H. Clark went into the Navy after dropping out of high school, where he ran a side business making loans to other sailors. He later returned to continue his formal education, beginning with the University of New Orleans where he earned his masters degree in physics, and eventually earning a PhD in computer science from the University of Utah. Clark then became an associate professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University and major benefactor of the James H. Clark Center, home of the Bio-X bioscience research program, at Stanford.

Jim Clark is best known as the co-founder of the internet pioneer Netscape, but has since multiplied his wealth through timely tech investments in companies such as Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and Palantir. His latest startup is a venture called CommandScape, an app that controls everything from a building's alarms and cameras to its lighting and thermostat. James H. Clark is estimated by Forbes to be worth over $2.2 billion as of 2018, making him one of the wealthiest men in America. An ocean lover, his yachts include the 300-foot sailing yacht Athena and the 100-foot racing sailboat Comanche. He is also a well known philanthropist, contributing mainly to institutions of higher education such as Stanford University and Tulane University. He is also a member of the board of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Clark has been married four times, and is presently married to Kristy Hinze, a former Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated model. The divorce from his third wife of 15 years, Nancy Rutter, a Forbes journalist, is reported to have cost him $125 million in cash and assets in the settlement.

With wife Kristy Hinze he fathers two daughters: Dylan Vivienne and Harper Hazelle.