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The life story of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes


Elizabeth Holmes
Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was a poster child for Silicon Valley success — until it all came crashing down.
Kimberly White/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize

In 2014, blood-testing startup Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, were on top of the world.

Back then, Theranos was a revolutionary idea thought up by a woman hailed as a genius who styled herself as a female Steve Jobs. Holmes was the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire, and Theranos was one of Silicon Valley’s unicorn startups, valued at an estimated $9 billion.

But then it all came crashing down.

The shortcomings and inaccuracies of Theranos’s technology were exposed, along with the role Holmes played in covering it all up. Holmes was ousted as CEO and charged with massive fraud, and the company was forced to close its labs and testing centers, and eventually shutter operations altogether.

Holmes and Theranos are the focus of a new HBO documentary that debuted in March, called “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley.” The documentary joins the book “Bad Blood” and a podcast from ABC News that have combed through the story of Theranos and how its founder was able to defraud investors and potential customers.

This is how Holmes went from precocious child, to ambitious Stanford dropout, to an embattled startup founder charged with fraud.


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