Larry Sanger is an American philosopher, co-founder of Wikipedia, and the founder of Citizendium. He grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. From an early age he has been interested in philosophy. Sanger received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Reed College in 1991 and a Doctor of Philosophy in philosophy from Ohio State University in 2000. Most of his philosophical work has focused on epistemology, the theory of knowledge.
He has been involved with various online encyclopedia projects. He is the former editor-in-chief of Nupedia, chief organizer (2001–2002) of its successor, Wikipedia, and founding editor-in-chief of Citizendium. From his position at Nupedia, he assembled the process for article development. Sanger proposed implementing a wiki, which led directly to the creation of Wikipedia. Initially Wikipedia was a complementary project for Nupedia. He was Wikipedia’s early community leader and established many of its original policies. He spearheaded an alternative wiki-based project, Citizendium.
Sanger left Wikipedia in 2002, and has since been critical of the project. He articulated that despite its merits, Wikipedia lacks credibility due to, among other things, a lack of respect for expertise. After leaving the project, Sanger taught philosophy at Ohio State University and was an early strategist for the expert-authored Encyclopedia of Earth. On September 15, 2006 he publicly announced Citizendium, first envisioned as a fork of Wikipedia. It was launched on March 25, 2007. Citizendium represents an effort to create a credible and free-access encyclopedia. Sanger had aimed to bring more accountability to the Internet encyclopedia model.
He is currently working on developing educational projects for individuals behind WatchKnowLearn and is designing a program to teach children how to read. He started blogging on various subjects, including baby reading. He also works part-time as a writer, speaker, and consultant on the topic of collaborative online communities.