Palo Alto, California

Santa Clara County


Palo Alto is a town of 64 403 inhabitants, located in the Santa Clara Valley ( Silicon Valley ) in the U.S. state of California, 50 miles south of San Francisco and 20 kilometers north of San Jose. Palo Alto is part of Santa Clara County and is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The name Palo Alto in Spanish means roughly Tall Pole and refers to a particularly tall tree called El Palo Alto on the shores of San Francisco Creek.

Urban area

It stretches from the San Francisco Bay in the east to the Skyline Ridge of the coastal range to the west and to the north of Menlo Park to Mountain View in the south. The city encompasses an area of ​​about 61 square kilometers, of the approximately one-third is undeveloped.


According to the 2010 census, the population was 64,403, about 6,000 more than in 2000. The number of households amounted in 2010 to about 28,000. The majority of the population consisted of white Americans, who made up about two-thirds of the total population. Latinos and other U.S. citizens of Hispanic origin were represented in comparison with California about six percent of the urban population weak. Other minorities represents the population of African Americans, and Asian -Americans. The 2010 Census also showed that 100 women 95.7 males. The average age of the residents was 41.9 years.

In April 1967, the history teacher Ron Jones conducted together with students and teachers at the Cubberley High School in Palo Alto by a social experiment called The Third Wave, to warn of the attraction of fascist movements.


The climate is very mild and due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean are temperature changes only slightly ( oceanic embossed Mediterranean climate ). The seasons are consequently also less pronounced, for simplicity, one can distinguish a rain of a dry season. The average annual temperature is 15 ° C (10 ° C in the rain and 20 ° C in the dry season). The average annual rainfall about 400 mm, with 95 percent of the rainfall occurs in the period between October and April.


Palo Alto is mainly influenced by the Stanford University and is the headquarters known company in the computer industry such as Hewlett- Packard and VMware as well as research institutions such as the Palo Alto Research Center and the Foresight Institute. Some venture capital companies are located. There are administrative offices of companies in the solar industry sector whose production but elsewhere takes place. In addition, located in Palo Alto headquarters of the " Mercedes -Benz Research and Development North America, Inc. " and Tesla Motors, a manufacturer of electric cars. The social network Facebook had until 2011 its headquarters in Palo Alto.

In addition to the many known from the IT industry, North American companies, the all-important German companies with research facilities in Palo Alto resident, including the Bosch Research and Technology Center North America RTC, the software company SAP, the audio company Sennheiser or Electronics Research Laboratory, ERL, Volkswagen Group of America, until its move in 2011.

Real estate prices are among the highest in the United States.

Sons and daughters of the town

The list contains an alphabetical overview of major, born in what is now Palo Alto personalities. Whether the people had their future spheres in Palo Alto or not is irrelevant. Many have moved away by their families and elsewhere became known. The list is not exhaustive.

Other personalities with respect to the city

  • The Donnas, rock band
  • Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple
  • Phil Hellmuth, Professional Poker Player
  • Chester Ray Longwell, geologist
  • Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo
  • Larry Page, co-founder of Google
  • Richard Rorty, philosopher and literary scholar
  • Paul Watzlawick, communications expert, psychotherapist
  • Irvin Yalom, psychoanalyst, writer
  • Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of the online network Facebook