After Serena Williams announced she would be retiring from tennis to focus on her family and business, her husband, Alexis Ohanian share“I’m so glad she wrote this article. It went so well and I feel like she’s going to be hearing about it for years from people.”
Ohanian, who founded Reddit, also took to Twitter to share the impact she’s had on the world. “Over the past 7 years, I’ve seen how much you love my wife, what she means to so many people around the world. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” a- he declared. tweeted. “A lot of people have told me ‘how Reddit changed their life’, but the scale and impact of the ‘how Serena changed my life’ stories absolutely overshadows them.”
He continued, “And that’s exactly what I hear when people come up to say hello. You just can’t overstate the size and influence she’s had on so many people. And for what it’s worth, as far as I know, she has no idea, she doesn’t think about it.
Here’s everything you need to know about Alexis Ohanian, husband of Serena Williams, tech entrepreneur and investor.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York, to immigrant parents.
Ohanian was born in 1983 to a German mother and a father son of Armenian refugees; his paternal grandparents fled the Armenian Genocide.
“I have a bit of a crush on the Statue of Liberty… I watch this every day and put into perspective, coming from an immigrant family, everything they went through to give me the right fortune that I had,” he said.
His parents soon moved to suburban Washington, D.C., where he graduated from Howard High School in 2001. “I went to high school in Ellicott City, Maryland, and I felt pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. Internet activities… At school, I was just a kid. Online, I had authority. My parents were ok with that, although I guess they didn’t know that I was sending e-mails to complete strangers,” he recalls. in a 2012 profile.
He then went to the University of Virginia; he graduated in 2005 with degrees in history and business. At UVA, he met Steve Huffman on the first day of freshman year, and they bonded over a shared love of video games.
In 2005, Ohanian and Huffman co-founded Reddit, “the Internet’s front page.”
They built Reddit in three weeks, and sixteen months later they sold it to Condé Nast. He left Reddit in 2010, three years after they were acquired. “I want to stay hungry. I truly believe that my resources are better spent helping projects that make the world less of a mess,” Ohanian said.
After leaving Reddit, Ohanian focused on early-stage technology investing, backing startups. He also wrote a book, Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed.
He met Serena Williams in 2015.
Ohanian and Williams were staying at the same hotel, the Cavalieri, in Rome. Williams was there for the Italian Open and Ohanian was in town for the Festival of Media Global conference. As Williams reminded vanity lounge“This big guy comes over and he drops down to the table next to us, and I’m like, ‘Huh! All these tables and he’s sitting there?'”
Williams and his group tried to move him to one of the other empty tables and told him there was a rat near him. Their first conversation went like this:
“No, we just don’t want you sitting there. We’re going to use that table,” Williams said.
“I’m from Brooklyn. I see rats all the time,” Ohanian replied.
“Oh, aren’t you afraid of rats?”
Then Williams invited Ohanian to sit down with them, and the rest was history. Williams invited Ohanian to meet her in Paris for Roland-Garros, and they went on their first date. In late 2016, Ohanian proposed at the same hotel where they met in Rome, and in 2017 they welcomed Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September and married that November in New Orleans.
You can still find Ohanian in Williams’ player box, cheering on his wife. In 2021, he shared, “I will one day be a self-made billionaire and most people will always know me as Serena’s husband (or Olympia’s dad) and that’s fine with me.”
When Williams announced his retirement, a big part of his decision came from wanting to expand their family.
He is a great defender of paternity leave.
He started fighting for paid paternity leave after their daughter was born, when he took 16 weeks off.
In 2019, he began advocating for federal paid family leave legislation. “I hope to meet many senators, representatives, many fathers, on both sides of the aisle, in both houses of the Legislative Assembly, who want this to be the law of the land,” Ohanian said. hello america. “What we are looking for is a minimum number of weeks off.”
In 2020, his talk about how Williams nearly died in childbirth highlighted his need for paid paternal leave. “The understanding of my responsibility to take care of my family that I acquired during the first months after the birth of Olympia has never left me, and it gives meaning to my fatherhood today,” said- he writes in an OpEd in the New York Times.
Emily Burack (she/her) is the news editor for Town & Country, where she covers entertainment, culture, the royal family and a range of other topics. Prior to joining T&C, she was associate editor of Hey Alma, a Jewish culture site. Follow her @emburack on Twitter and Instagram.