Andrew Yang was born on 13 January 1975 in upstate New York. His parents immigrated from Taiwan in the ‘60s and met while in grad school at Berkeley. His father was a researcher at IBM and General Electric, generating 69 patents over his career, and his mother was the systems administrator at a local university. Andrew and his brother grew up believing in the American dream—their parents immigrated for a better life, chased every opportunity America had to offer, and taught their sons to do the same. Andrew studied economics and political science at Brown University, then earned a JD at Columbia Law School.
After five months as a corporate lawyer at Davis Polk, Andrew realized it wasn’t the path for him. He left the firm and founded an internet company that raised money for non-profits—like many of the first dot-com businesses, it didn’t last. When Andrew shut down his first company he was just 26 and still owed $100k in law school debt—but the experience gave him a taste for building things. He joined a wireless software company and then an early stage healthcare startup, where he learned how to build a business from more experienced entrepreneurs while working in a dozen hospitals.