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John G. Sperling

Apollo Group

1976 - 2001


Military ServiceAir Force
1970 b. 1921
UndergraduateReed College
GraduateMA, University of California at Berkeley & PhD, Cambridge University
BirthplaceMissouri (MO)
FatherFarmer / Rancher
Era - 1970

Sperling left a tenured faculty position at San Jose State University after failing to convince the institution to offer for-profit education programs for adults. Sperling launched the for-profit University of Phoenix in 1976 amidst great controversy and ridicule. Despite many hurdles, Sperling built the University of Phoenix into a vibrant and successful institution. By the end of the century, the firm had reached almost $1 billion in revenues and was providing educational opportunities for over 200,000 students at 100 centers throughout the world.