• Elizabeth Holmes is an entrepreneur, best known as the founder and former CEO of Theranos, a company with false claims of revolutionary blood tests
• Her net worth has declined to zero due to fraud discovery and fines
• She was interested in computer programming and business from a young age, and was the youngest self-made female billionaire
• She founded Theranos with the goal of making health information accessible to all people early on
• Holmes is now effectively bankrupt and facing an investigation with her former COO, while a film is being made about her life titled “Bad Blood”

Short Info

Date Of BirthFebruary 3, 1984
FactHolmes is often compared to visionary Steve Jobs and told Mercury News she launched her company after "thinking about what is the greatest change I could make in the world.".

Who is Elizabeth Holmes?

Elizabeth Anne Holmes was born on 3 February 1984, in Washington, D.C. USA, and is an entrepreneur, probably best known as the founder and former CEO of Theranos, a company that became known for false claims of revolutionary blood tests, using just small amounts of blood to be able to diagnose a variety of diseases.

The Net Worth of Elizabeth Holmes

How rich is Elizabeth Holmes? As of mid-2018, sources estimate a net worth that is zero, all lost following the discovery of wire fraud. She was previously the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world, through the $9 billion worth of value she earned through Theranos. Now her net worth has declined due to her returning money, after fraud was discovered, while also accruing fines.

Early Life and Education

Elizabeth’s father was a part of numerous government agencies around the world, such as USAID, while her mother worked as a Congressional committee staffer. She would attend St. John’s School, and during her time there, became very interested in both computer programming and business. She managed to start her first business selling C++ compilers to Chinese University.

In 2001, she became a President’s Scholar at Stanford University, and studied chemical engineering, and also worked at the Genome Institute of Singapore during her freshman year, to test for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). In 2003, the first patent she filed was on a wearable drug-delivery patch and the following year, she decided to drop out of Stanford’s School of Engineering to use her money as seed funding for a healthcare technology company. She founded Theranos with the goal of making health information accessible to all people early on, so that health problems could be detected as early as possible.

The Rise of Theranos

Holmes had the idea of getting considerable amounts of data through a few droplets of blood from the tip of a finger, describing the fear of needles as one of the motivations for creating the company. Several of her professors said that the task was impossible, but she was able to get someone on the board of the company leading her to pitch her idea to venture capitalists. In 2004, she had managed to raise $6 million to fund Theranos and the company was soon earning money from pharmaceutical companies to conduct testing.

In 2010, her company had grown to $92 million in venture capital, and she was introduced to former Secretary of State George Shultz, who would become a board member of the company. Theranos became the company with the most illustrious board in US corporate history over the next three years. The company managed to avoid media contact until 2013, when they announced a partnership with Walgreens to create in-store blood sample collection centers. The following year, she was on the cover of numerous publications such as Fortune, Forbes, The New York Times, etc. She had by then become the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire with $9 billion, and more than $400 million in venture capital; her name appeared on over 80 patents worldwide.

The Fall of Theranos

In 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that one of the blood testing devices of Theranos could prove inaccurate, but the claims were quickly shot down by Elizabeth. The following year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent a warning letter to the company after they discovered that the California lab had numerous problems. CMS went to propose a two year ban on the company, and Elizabeth made a public statement about how they should’ve found these issues much earlier.

In 2016, the CMS banned her from owning, operating, and directing blood testing for the next two years, while Walgreens also ended their association with Theranos. Civil and criminal investigations were undertaken by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California – she continued to deny any wrongdoing. In 2018, it was discovered that the company falsely claimed their technology was being used by the US Department of Defense, and that it had published false revenue at $100 million in 2014, when it was actually only $100,000. She was banned from holding an officer position in any public company for 10 years, and was also given a $500,000 fine. Theranos laid off virtually all its workforce, once 800 strong, and only has fewer than two dozen employees remaining. Other charges remain in progress, although to what likely effect is unknown, as Holmes is now effectively bankrupt.

Personal Life

There have been reports released that Holmes was romantically involved for several years with former Theranos Chief Operating Officer Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani from 2005. Both of them are now facing an investigation on nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud with both of them not pleading guilty. A film is also being made about them, entitled “Bad Blood” based on the book “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou.

General Info

Full NameElizabeth Holmes
Date Of BirthFebruary 3, 1984
ProfessionEntrepreneur, Chemical engineer, Electrical engineer, Businessperson
EducationSt. John's School, Stanford University


ParentsChristian Holmes IV, Noel Holmes
SiblingsChristian Holmes V


AwardsGlamour Award for The Entrepreneur

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1My father did a lot of disaster relief work, and he was always in places where there was a lot of pain.
2Today, blood work and science are able to provide more of a movie of your health, identifying trends before they become an issue.
3Too often you see someone fall, break a rib, go in to the doctor and discover a tumor.
4Patients are empowered by having better access to their own health information, and then by owning their own data.
5The art of phlebotomy originated with bloodletting in 1400 B.C., and the modern clinical lab emerged in the 1960s - and it has not fundamentally evolved since then. You go in, sit down, they put a tourniquet on your arm, stick you with a needle, take these tubes and tubes of blood.
6When I thought about having the greatest impact with my life, I thought about all the times people lose loved ones because diseases weren't detected early enough. I thought, 'I can play a role there.'
7With some diseases, like type 2 diabetes, if people get alerted early, they can take steps to avert getting sick.
8I really believe that if we were from another planet, and we sat down to put our heads together on torture experiments, the concept of sticking a needle into someone and sucking their blood out would probably qualify as a pretty good one.
9I love adventures.
10No one thinks of the lab-testing experience as positive. It should be! One way to create that is to help people engage with the data once their physicians release it. You can't do that if you don't really understand why you're getting certain tests done and when you don't know what the results mean when you get them back.
11I think a lot of young people have incredible ideas and incredible insights, but sometimes they wait before they go give their life to something. What I did was just to start a little earlier.
12At a relatively early age, I began to believe that building a business was perhaps the greatest opportunity for making an impact, because it's a tool for making a change in the world.
13What I really want out of life is to discover something new: something mankind didn't know was possible to do.
14We know more about our credit cards than we know about our bodies.
15Fundamentally, the answers to our challenges in healthcare relies in engaging and empowering the individual.
16Thernos 1.0 is an external point-of-care BlackBerry.
17It drives me crazy when people talk about the scale as an indicator of health, because your weight doesn't tell you what's going on at a biochemical level.
18The right to protect the health and well-being of every person, of those we love, is a basic human right.
19Anywhere from 40% to 60% of people, when they're given a requisition by a doctor to go get tested, don't, because they're scared of needles or the locations are inconvenient or the cost is too high. And if you're not even getting tested, how is it possible that we're going to move toward an era of preventive medicine?
20I definitely am afraid of needles. It's the only thing that actually scares me.


1At just 9 years of age, Holmes wrote in a letter to her father, "What I really want out of life is to discover something new, something that mankind didn't know was possible to do.".
2According to The New Yorker, Holmes "can quote Jane Austen by heart, [but] no longer devotes time to novels or friends, doesn't date, doesn't own a television, and hasn't taken a vacation in 10 years ... She is a vegan, and several times a day she drinks a pulverized concoction of cucumber, parsley, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, and celery.".
3Part of Holmes's inspiration came from her aversion to needles; her mother and grandmother even fainted at the sight of needles.
4As of 2014, Holmes had 84 patents to her name (18 U.S. and 66 non-U.S.).
5She once traveled to Singapore to spend a summer working in the Genome Institute labs on groundbreaking SARS research.
6Holmes wears a daily "uniform" of a black suit with a black cotton turtleneck.
7Since launching in 2003, Theranos has developed blood tests to help detect dozens of medical conditions, including high cholesterol and cancer, using just a drop or two of blood drawn from a pinprick in your finger.
8Holmes is often compared to visionary Steve Jobs and told Mercury News she launched her company after "thinking about what is the greatest change I could make in the world.".
9Holmes met Sunny Balwani, who would later become her company's COO, in Beijing the summer after her senior year of high school, during the time he was getting his MBA from Berkeley.
10While still in high school, Holmes completed three college Mandarin courses and sold C compilers to Chinese universities.
11She abstains from caffeine, limits the amount of time she sleeps, and works seven days a week.
12Holmes has set her sights on more than simply dominating the blood-testing market; she wants to create a whole new market called "consumer health technology" that will see consumers more engaged in their health care.
13Holmes was exceedingly private in the first 11 years of building her company. She's made a huge splash since appearing on the cover of Fortune magazine last summer.
14Her company name, Theranos, is a combination of the words therapy and diagnose.
15Holmes went to Stanford for chemical engineering, and during her time there, filed her first patent (for an advanced drug-delivery patch). She then dropped out of college just before her sophomore year.
16Holmes is notoriously secretive, and while she's been criticized by industry peers as such, insists she must protect her technology from the prying eyes of competitors.
17In March 2015, Holmes became the youngest person ever honored as a lifetime member by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.
18According to CBS News, Holmes spends every waking hour in her office and doesn't even own a TV at home.
19Holmes assembled what can be described as an all-star board of experienced and accomplished people in the corporate world: George Schultz, Bill Perry, Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, and Bill Frist, among others.
20Ranked No. 110 on the Forbes 400 in 2014, Holmes topped the list of America's Self-Made Women in 2015 with a net worth of $4.7 billion.



American Masters2015TV Series documentaryHerself
Charlie Rose2015TV SeriesHerself - Guest
CBS This Morning2015TV SeriesHerself - CEO, Theranos

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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