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Who is Carl Icahn, and why does he want to buy Dell?

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On monday, word spread that Carl Icahn has made a bid for Dell that could oust its founder and CEO Michael Dell from the company. But who is Icahn, and what does he want with Dell? Often described as an "activist investor," he's one of the world's richest men. He's made a name for himself over recent years with a series of high-profile investments. Just a few months ago, he bought a large share in Netflix with a view to sell the company, forcing the company's board to enact a "poison pill" plan to prevent a hostile takeover. In a Forbes cover story, the business magazine profiles Icahn, looking at his investments, high-profile spats with other Wall Street investors, and his motivations behind the Dell bid. So why did he decide to try to take control of one of America's most important computer companies? According to Forbes, "Icahn read about it in the newspaper, and he swiftly took a $1 billion position in the stock, figuring that if Dell was putting so much money in, it must be really cheap."