Yang was born in Taipei, Taiwan on November 6, 1968, and moved to San Jose, California at the age of ten with his mother and younger brother.
His father died when he was only two years. Yang moved to San José at the age of ten years with his mother and brother. He said that even if his mother was an English teacher, he knew only one word (shoe) on his arrival in the United States. .
Yang is graduated from the Sierramont Middle School, and Piedmont Hills School and he received his BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering at Stanford University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
In 1994, Jerry Yang founded Yahoo! with David Filo. Their aim was building the first directory of websites on Internet. Initially, this directory of websites called "Jerry's Guide to the World Wilde Web".
They worked on this project during their studies at Stanford University. But quickly, the website knows a big success following the development of the web. Yahoo ! decides to popularize the concept of portal including content and services. In 2005, the company announces a turnover of $ 5.2 billion, a net income of $ 1.9 billion thanks to a workforce of 11,000 employees.
In January 2012, Jerry Yang leaves the company and its board of directors.