But the content creator’s road to success has been paved with heartbreak and hardships — a fact he first shared with fans back in 2013.
Markiplier had a tumor the size of a fist removed from his adrenal gland.
In a video titled "Draw My Life," Mark explained that he was at a particularly low point when he began experiencing a suspicious pain in his side. He had just split from his girlfriend and was recently fired from his job.
"This extraordinary pain plagued me for a bit until one day I woke up in so much pain that I had to go to the hospital," he recalled. Not only did Mark have a large tumor on his adrenal gland (located above the kidneys), but doctors also found that his appendix was the size of a beach ball and needed to be taken out immediately.
"This was pretty shocking news and on top of everything that had happened already, I was pretty much stressed enough as it is," he said. But, the ordeal did have a silver lining. It allowed Mark to reconcile with his estranged mother and ultimately drove him to pursue his dreams.
Markiplier joined YouTube after losing his dad to cancer.
During his senior year of high school, Mark’s dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. "He put a piece of paper in front of me and just let me read it without saying anything," the Los Angeles resident remembered. "In big, bold letters it said 'CANCER.'"
Mark admitted that he "kind of lost sight" of what he was doing after that. "I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do, which was make video games," he said. "I wanted to do it, my dad didn’t agree with me… so I kind of put that off the table and focused on going [to school for] engineering."
But when his dad died a year later, Mark once again found himself confused about his future. It took his "series of unfortunate events" (the breakup, unemployment, the tumor) to finally create a YouTube account.
"As I was recovering, I was so desperate to have something that was under my control," he told Forbes of his decision to set up a channel in 2012.
"I didn’t even care that I didn’t have that many subscribers in the beginning because even the few people that did watch me, I was more than happy to do everything it took to entertain them," he added in "Draw My Life."
Since then, Mark’s videos have accumulated nearly 12 billion views, and he's committed to using his gigantic platform to do some good in the world. Earlier this year, he raised close to $500,000 for the Cancer Research Institute by selling calendars featuring tasteful nudes of the half-Korean hunk.
We can certainly get behind a YouTuber who’s both charitable and knows what his fans want!