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Who is Serena Williams’s Husband Alexis Ohanian?
Serena Williams announced her retirement from tennis to focus on her family and business activities, and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, said, “I’m really thrilled she wrote that piece. It turned out so wonderfully, and I have a feeling she’ll be hearing about it from others for years to come.”
Ohanian, the founder of Reddit, also took to Twitter to discuss her impact on the world. “I’ve seen over the last 7 years how much y’all adore my wife—what she means to so many people all around the world—unlike it’s anything I’ve ever seen,” he wrote on Twitter.
“While many people have told me ‘how Reddit transformed their lives,’ the scale and intensity of ‘how Serena impacted my life’ stories absolutely exceed it.” “And that’s just what I hear when people come up to me to say hello,” he said. “You simply cannot overstate the enormity and influence she’s had on so many people, and for what it’s worth, as far as I can tell, she has no idea. She doesn’t think about it.”
Here’s all you need to know about Serena Williams’ husband, Alexis Ohanian, a digital entrepreneur and investor. He was born to immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. Ohanian was born in 1983 to a German mother and an Armenian refugee father; his paternal grandparents fled the Armenian genocide.
“I have a thing for the Statue of Liberty… I look at it every day and remember—coming from an immigrant family—everything they went through to give me the fortunate fortune I’ve had,” he stated. “I went to high school in Ellicott City, Maryland, and I felt pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. It just took time away from my doing things on the Internet… In school, I was just a kid. Online, I had authority. My parents were cool with it, although I guess they didn’t know I was e-mailing total strangers,” he recalled in a 2012 profile.
He then attended the University of Virginia, where he earned degrees in history and business in 2005. On the first day of his freshman year at UVA, he met Steve Huffman, with whom he shared a passion for video games. Ohanian and Huffman co-founded Reddit, the “top page of the internet,” in 2005.
They launched Reddit in three weeks and sold it to Condé Nast sixteen months later. He quit Reddit three years after it was purchased. “I want to stay hungry because I truly believe that my resources are best spent to help causes that make the world a better place,” Ohanian explained.
After leaving Reddit, Ohanian concentrated on early-stage tech investing and start-up help. He also published a book titled Without Their Permission: How the Twenty-First Century Will Be Made, Not Managed.
Ohanian and Williams were both staying at the Cavalieri in Rome. Ohanian was in town for the Festival of Media Global conference, while Williams was there for the Italian Open. “This enormous guy comes and he just plops down at the table next to us,” Williams told Vanity Fair, “and I’m like, ‘Huh! All these tables and he’s sitting here?'”
Williams and her friends tried to persuade him to go to one of the other empty tables, telling him there was a rat nearby. Their first chat went something like this: “No, we just don’t want you sitting there; we’ll use that table,” Williams explained. “I’m from Brooklyn, so I’m used to seeing rats,” Ohanian responded.
Williams then encouraged Ohanian to join them, and the rest is history. They embarked on their first date after Williams invited Ohanian to meet her in Paris for the French Open. Ohanian proposed at the same hotel where they met in Rome at the end of 2016, and in 2017, they welcomed Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September and married in November in New Orleans.
Ohanian can always be found in Williams’ player box, cheering for his wife. “I’ll be a self-made millionaire one day, and most people will still know me as Serena’s husband (or Olympia’s father), and that’s fine with me,” he said in 2021.
Williams’ choice to retire was motivated in large part by her desire to increase their family. He’s a huge supporter of paternity leave. He began lobbying for paid paternity leave after their daughter was born when he took a full 16 weeks off.
He began lobbying for federal paid family leave legislation in 2019. “I expect to meet with many senators, representatives, and fathers on both sides of the aisle, in both houses of the Legislature, who want this to be the law of the land,” Ohanian said on Good Morning America. “What we’re looking for is a set number of weeks off.”
In 2020, he discussed how Williams nearly dying during childbirth reinforced the importance of paid parental leave to him. “The awareness of my obligation to care for my family that I gained during those first months after Olympia’s birth has never left me, and it lends meaning to my fatherhood today,” he said in a New York Times OpEd.