Steve Case was born and grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of Carol (née Holmes) and Daniel Hebard Case. He graduated from the private Punahou School (Class of 1976) and attended Central Union Church.
Case graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1980 with a degree in political science. For the next two years he worked as an assistant brand manager at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1982 he joined Pizza Hut Inc. in Wichita, Kansas, serving as manager of new pizza marketing.
In January 1983, his older brother Dan, an investment banker, introduced him to Bill von Meister, CEO of Control Video Corporation. The company was marketing a Service called GameLine for the Atari 2600 video game console that allowed users to download games via a phone line and modem. After that meeting, von Meister hired Case as a marketing consultant. Later that year, the company nearly went bankrupt and one of its Investors, Frank Caufield, brought in his friend Jim Kimsey as a Manufacturing consultant. Case later joined the company as a full-time marketing employee.
In 1985, Case married Joanne Barker whom he had met while attending Williams College. The couple had three children and divorced in 1996. Two years later, in 1998, he married former AOL executive Jean Villanueva in a ceremony officiated by the Rev. Billy Graham. They and their four daughters and one son from previous marriages reside in McLean, Virginia at Merrywood, the childhood home of Jacqueline Bouvier.
Among many initiatives in the early years of AOL, Case personally championed many innovative online interactive titles and games, including graphical chat environments Habitat (1986) and Club Caribe (1989), the first online interactive fiction series QuantumLink Serial by Tracy Reed (1988), Quantum Space, the first fully automated Play by email game (1989), and the original Dungeons & Dragons title Neverwinter Nights, the first Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) to depict the adventure with graphics instead of text (1991).
He is also chairman of the Case Foundation, which he and his wife Jean Case created in 1997. In 2011, Steve and Jean Case, were honored as Citizens of the Year by the National Conference on Citizenship and interviewed by Stephanie Strom of The New York Times about their record of Service and philanthropic endeavors.
After a decade of quick growth, AOL merged with media giant Time Warner in 2001, creating one of the world's largest media, entertainment and communications companies. The $164 billion acquisition was completed in January 2001 but quickly ran into trouble as part of the dot-com recession, compounded by accounting scandals. Case announced his resignation as chairman in January 2003, although he remained on the company's board of Directors for almost three more years.
Case is a cousin of Ed Case, who served as a Hawaii congressman from 2002 through 2007.
Following his departure from AOL, Case founded Revolution LLC in 2005 with Donn Davis and Tige Savage. Early Investments include Revolution Money, HelloWallet, AddThis, Zipcar, Living Social, and luxury travel club Exclusive Resorts. These last three were considered early bets on the new Web economy, and were early examples of what is now referred to as the 'sharing economy.' Zipcar went public in April 2011, earning a market valuation of more than $1 billion before being acquired by Avis Budget Group in January 2013.
Case was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2011, he was appointed as a Citizen Regent of the Smithsonian Institution. Case was a co-chair of the Democracy Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center. In May 2014, Case received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Georgetown University.
In 2011, Case, along with Ted Leonsis and Donn Davis, launched the $450 million Revolution Growth fund. The fund's Investments to date include Bigcommerce, CustomInk, Echo360, FedBid, Handy, Lolly Wolly Doodle, Optoro, Resonate, Revolution Foods, Sweetgreen, Sparefoot, Bedrock Manufacturing, LDiscovery, Interactions, Cava, DraftKings and Sportradar. In 2013, he launched the Revolution Ventures fund with Tige Savage and David Golden. Revolution Ventures has invested in BenchPrep, Booker, Busbud, Framebridge, Homesnap, Insikt, OrderUp, RunKeeper, MemberSuite, and PolicyGenius.
Other exits include the purchase of Revolution Money by American Express in 2009 for $300 million, and on May 29, 2014 MorningStar announced plans to acquire HelloWallet for an undisclosed amount.
He made an exception to remaining non-partisan by endorsing Hillary Clinton for the 2016 presidency, however, fueled by concern that Donald Trump's strict immigration policies would result in loss of jobs as many Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.