|Birth Day:||March 14, 1961|
|Birth Place:||Istanbul, Turkey|
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Lazaridis was born in Istanbul, Turkey, to Pontic Greek parents with original lineage to the island of Chios. He was five years old when his family moved to Canada in 1966, settling in Windsor, Ontario. At age 12, he won a prize at the Windsor Public Library for reading every science book in the library. In 1979, he enrolled at the University of Waterloo in electrical engineering with an option in computer science. In 1984, Lazaridis responded to a request for proposal from General Motors (commonly known as GM) to develop a network computer control display system. GM awarded him a contract. He dropped out of university that year, just two months before he was scheduled to graduate. The GM contract, a small government grant, and a loan from Lazaridis's parents enabled Lazaridis, Mike Barnstijn, and Douglas Fregin to launch Research In Motion. One of the company's first achievements was the development of barcode technology for film. RIM plowed the profits from that into wireless data transmission research, eventually leading to the introduction of the BlackBerry wireless mobile device in 1999, and its better-known version in 2002.
On October 21, 1999, Lazaridis received an honorary doctor of engineering degree from the University of Waterloo, and in June 2003, he became its eighth chancellor. He was listed on Maclean's Honour Roll as a distinguished Canadian in 2000 and named Canada's Nation Builder of the Year for 2002 by readers of The Globe and Mail newspaper. In 2006, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of Ontario. In 2014 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. His nomination reads:
In 2000, Lazaridis founded and donated more than $170 million to the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He and his wife Ophelia founded and donated more than $100 million to the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo in 2002. In 2015, Lazaridis donated $20 million to Wilfrid Laurier University for a new technology-focused management institute at the business school, which was renamed in his honour as the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics.
Currently, Mike Lazaridis is 61 years, 10 months and 14 days old. Mike Lazaridis will celebrate 62nd birthday on a Tuesday 14th of March 2023.
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