The Debian project was founded by Ian Murdock in 1993. Debian gets its name from the combination of Ian Murdoch and his wife Debra’s name (Deb-Ian) Read more here for the overview
Debian has no company behind it. The Debian project is sponsored by Software in the Public Interest, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping produce open-source software and hardware. Despite its not-for-profit status, Debian is an extremely versatile distribution. It forms the base of many user-friendly distributions like Ubuntu, Linspire and Xandros. It can also be found running on thousands of mission critical servers that have to be up 24/7.