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Gates in July 2014
Born William Henry Gates III

October 28, 1955 (age 59)
Seattle, Washington, US

Residence Medina, Washington, US
Alma mater Harvard University (dropped out)
Occupation Technology Advisor of Microsoft

Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
CEO of Cascade Investment
Chair of Corbis

Years active 1975–present
Net worth US$80.1 billion (as of December 2014)[1]

Board member of

Microsoft

Berkshire Hathaway

Religion Roman Catholicism(formerly Protestant)[2]
Spouse(s) Melinda Gates ( 1994)
Children Jennifer Katharine Gates

Rory John Gates
Phoebe Adele Gates

Parents William H. Gates, Sr.

Mary Maxwell Gates

Signature
Website
TheGatesNotes.com]

nne), and one younger sister, Libby. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had the "II" suffix.[18] Early on in his life, Gates's parents had a law career in mind for him.[19] When Gates was young, his family regularly attended a Protestant Congregational church.[20][21][22] The family encouraged competition; one visitor reported that "it didn't matter whether it was hearts or pickleball or swimming to the dock ... there was always a reward for winning and there was always a penalty for losing".[23]

At 13, he enrolled in the Lakeside School, an exclusive preparatory school.[24] When he was in the eighth grade, the Mothers Club at the school used proceeds from Lakeside School's rummage sale to buy a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal and a block of computer time on a General Electric (GE) computer for the school's students.[25] Gates took an interest in programming the GE system in BASIC, and was excused from math classes to pursue his interest. He wrote his first computer program on this machine: an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed users to play games against the computer. Gates was fascinated by the machine and how it would always execute software code perfectly. When he reflected back on that moment, he said, "There was just something neat about the machine."[26] After the Mothers Club donation was exhausted, he and other students sought time on systems including DEC PDP minicomputers. One of these systems was a PDP-10belonging to Computer Center Corporation (CCC), which banned four Lakeside students—Gates, Paul Allen, Ric Weiland, and Kent Evans—for the summer after it caught them exploiting bugs in the operating system to obtain free computer time.[27][28]

At the end of the ban, the four students offered to find bugs in CCC's software in exchange for computer time. Rather than use the system via Teletype, Gates went to CCC's offices and studied source code for various programs that ran on the system, including programs in Fortran, Lisp, and machine language. The arrangement with CCC continued until 1970, when the company went out of business. The following year, Information Sciences, Inc. hired the four Lakeside students to write a payroll program in Cobol, providing them computer time and royalties. After his administrators became aware of his programming abilities, Gates wrote the school's computer program to schedule students in classes. He modified the code so that he was placed in classes with "a disproportionate number of interesting girls."[29] He later stated that "it was hard to tear myself away from a machine at which I could so unambiguously demonstrate success."[26] At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.[30] In early 1973, Bill Gates served as a congressional page in the U.S. House of Representatives.[31]

Gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973 and was a National Merit Scholar.[32] He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT[33] and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973.[34] While at Harvard, he met Steve Ballmer, who would later succeed Gates as CEO of Microsoft.[citation needed]

The Poker Room in Currier House atHarvard University, where Gates and Allen formed Microsoft

In his sophomore year, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems[35] presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates's solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years;[35][36] its successor is faster by only one percent.[35] His solution was later formalized in a published paper in collaboration with Harvard computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou.[37]

Gates did not have a definite study plan while a student at Harvard[38] and spent a lot of time using the school's computers. Gates remained in contact with Paul Allen, and he joined him at Honeywell during the summer of 1974.[39] The following year saw the release of the MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU, and Gates and Allen saw this as the opportunity to start their own computer software company.[40] Gates dropped out of Harvard at this time.[41] He had talked this decision over with his parents, who were supportive of him after seeing how much Gates wanted to start a company.[38]

edia Edit

Books Edit

To date, Bill Gates has authored two books:

    • The Road Ahead, written with Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold and journalist Peter Rinearson, was published in November 1995. It summarized the implications of the personal computing revolution and described a future profoundly changed by the arrival of a global information superhighway.
    • Business @ the Speed of Thought was published in 1999, and discusses how business and technology are integrated, and shows how digital infrastructures and information networks can help getting an edge on the competition.

Documentaries Edit

    • Triumph of the Nerds (1996)
    • Nerds 2.0.1 (1998)
    • Waiting for "Superman" (2010) [131]
    • The Virtual Revolution (2010)

Feature films Edit

    • Pirates of Silicon Valley, a 1999 film which chronicles the rise of Apple and Microsoft from the early 1970s to 1997. Gates is portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall.
    • The Social Network, a 2010 film which chronicles the development of Facebook. Gates is portrayed by Steve Sires.[132]

Social media Edit

In 2013, Gates became a LinkedIn Influencer.[133]

See also Edit

Biography portal
Microsoft portal
    • Big History – academic discipline advocated by Bill Gates
    • List of billionaires
    • List of college dropout billionaires
    • List of wealthiest non-inflated historical figures
    • Paul Allen – Microsoft's co-founder, friend, and fellow billionaire
    • List of richest Americans in history

Notes Edit

    1. Jump up^ Gates regularly documents his share ownership through public U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission form 4 filings.[10][11]

References Edit

    1. ^ Jump up to:a b "William ‘Bill’ Gates", Forbes (profile), retrieved September 2014
    2. Jump up^ [1]
    3. Jump up^ Manes 1994, p. 11.
    4. Jump up^ "Bill Gates (American computer programmer, businessman, and philanthropist)". Retrieved March 20, 2013.
    5. Jump up^ "Honoring the Inventor: Bill Gates' Patents". Retrieved March 20, 2013.
    6. Jump up^ Wahba, Phil (September 17, 2008). "Bill Gates tops US wealth list 15 years in a row". Reuters. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2008.
    7. Jump up^ "The World's Billionaires". Forbes. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
    8. Jump up^ "Iceland". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved October 2014.
    9. Jump up^ Sheridan, Patrick (May 2, 2014). "Bill Gates no longer Microsoft's biggest shareholder". CNN Money. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
    10. Jump up^ MSFT (Holdings), NASDAQ
    11. Jump up^ MSFT (Symbol), NASDAQ
    12. Jump up^ Manes 1994, p. 459.
    13. Jump up^ Lesinski 2006, p. 96.
    14. Jump up^ "Gates foundation". Archived from the original on May 23, 2012.
    15. Jump up^ "Microsoft names Satya Nadella to replace Steve Ballmer". BBC News. February 4, 2014. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
    16. Jump up^ "Ancestry of Bill Gates". Wargs. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
    17. Jump up^ "Scottish Americans". Alba West. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2009.
    18. Jump up^ Manes 1994, p. 15.
    19. Jump up^ Manes 1994, p. 47.
    20. Jump up^ Lesinski, Jeanne M (September 1, 2008). Bill Gates: Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Twenty First Century Books. ISBN 978-1-58013-570-2. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
    21. Jump up^ Lowe, Janet (January 5, 2001). Bill Gates Speaks: Insight from the World's Greatest Entrepreneur. Wiley. ISBN 978-0-471-40169-8. Retrieved March 10,2011. 
    22. Jump up^ Berkowitz, Edward D (2006). Something Happened: A Political and Cultural Overview of the Seventies. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-12494-2. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
    23. Jump up^ Cringely, Robert X. (June 1996). "Part II". Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires. Season 1. PBS.
    24. Jump up^ Manes 1994, p. 24.
    25. Jump up^ Manes 1994, p. 27.
    26. ^ Jump up to:a b Gates 1996, p. 12.
    27. Jump up^ Manes 1994, p. 34.
    28. Jump up^ Paul Allen spills the beans on Gates’ criminal past, UK
    29. Jump up^ "Remarks by Bill Gates, co-chair", Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Press Room, Speeches, retrieved July 13, 2013
    30. Jump up^ Gates 1996, p. 14.
    31. Jump up^ Congressional Page History, The United States House Page Association of America, [dead link]
    32. Jump up^ National Merit Scholars You May Know
    33. Jump up^ "The new—and improved?—SAT". The Week Magazine. Archived from the original on May 10, 2006. Retrieved May 23, 2006.
    34. Jump up^ Gates 1996, p. 15.
    35. ^ Jump up to:a b c Kestenbaum, David (July 4, 2008). "Before Microsoft, Gates Solved A Pancake Problem". National Public Radio. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012.
    36. Jump up^ "UT Dallas Team Bests Young Bill Gates With Improved Answer to So-Called Pancake Problem in Mathematics". University of Texas at Dallas. September 17, 2008. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012.
    37. Jump up^ Gates, William; Papadimitriou, Christos (1979). "Bounds for sorting by prefix reversal". Discrete mathematics 27: 47–57. doi:10.1016/0012-365X(79)90068-2.
    38. ^ Jump up to:a b Gates 1996, p. 19.
    39. Jump up^ Wallace 1993, p. 59.
    40. Jump up^ Gates 1996, p. 18.
    41. Jump up^ "Bill Gates". NNDb. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. RetrievedAugust 24, 2012.
    42. ^ Jump up to:a b c "Microsoft Visitor Center Student Information: Key Events in Microsoft History" (.DOC). Microsoft. Archived from the original on February 26, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
    43. ^ Jump up to:a b c d "Microsoft history". The History of Computing Project. Archived fromthe original on May 23, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
    44. Jump up^ Manes 1994, p. 81.
    45. Jump up^ Gates, William ‘Bill’ (October 13, 2005). Remarks (Speech). Waterloo, ON.Archived from the original on April 6, 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
    46. ^ Jump up to:a b Bunnell, David (Feb–Mar 1982). "The Man Behind The Machine?". PC Magazine (interview). p. 16. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
    47. Jump up^ Maiello, John Steele Gordon Michael (December 23, 2002). "Pioneers Die Broke". Forbes. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. RetrievedMarch 31, 2008.
    48. ^ Jump up to:a b Gates 1996, p. 54.
    49. Jump up^ Manes 1994, p. 193.
    50. Jump up^ "Challenges and Strategy" (PDF). Groklaw. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
    51. Jump up^ Freiberger, Paul (August 31, 1981). "Bugs in Radio Shack TRS-80 Model III: How Bad Are They?". InfoWorld. p. 49. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
    52. Jump up^ Thorlin, Fred (April 2000). Fred Thorlin: The Big Boss at Atari Program Exchange. Interview with Kevin Savetz. Atari archives. Retrieved December 6,2012.
    53. Jump up^ Rensin, David (1994). "The Bill Gates Interview". Playboy.
    54. Jump up^ Ballmer, Steve (October 9, 1997). "Steve Ballmer Speech Transcript — Church Hill Club". Microsoft. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
    55. ^ Jump up to:a b Isaacson, Walter (January 13, 1997). "The Gates Operating System".Time. Archived from the original on June 19, 2000. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
    56. Jump up^ Bank, David (February 1, 1999). "Breaking Windows". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 29, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
    57. Jump up^ Chapman, Glenn (June 27, 2008). "Bill Gates Signs Off". Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012.
    58. ^ Jump up to:a b Gates, Bill (September 26, 1997). Remarks by Bill Gates (Speech). San Diego. Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
    59. Jump up^ Herbold, Robert (2004). The Fiefdom Syndrome: The Turf Battles That Undermine Careers and Companies – And How to Overcome ThemISBN 0-385-51067-5.
    60. Jump up^ Gates, Bill. Bill Gates InterviewComputer History Collection. Interview with David Allison (National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution). Transcript of a Video History Interview. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
    61. Jump up^ "Microsoft Announces Plans for July 2008 Transition for Bill Gates". Microsoft. June 15, 2006. Archived from the original on May 23, 2012.
    62. Jump up^ Wasserman, Elizabeth (November 17, 1998). "Gates deposition makes judge laugh in court". CNN. Retrieved April 10, 2013.
    63. Jump up^ "Microsoft's Teflon Bill". BusinessWeek. November 30, 1998. Archived fromthe original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
    64. ^ Jump up to:a b Heilemann, John (November 1, 2000). "The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth". Wired (8.11). Archived from the original on May 29, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
    65. Jump up^ "Mugshots". The Smoking Gun. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
    66. Jump up^ "Adblog". MSNBC. September 8, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
    67. Jump up^ Fried, Ina (July 14, 2009). "CNET Project Tuva". News.cnet.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
    68. Jump up^ "Access Project Tuva for Free, Courtesy of Bill Gates". News.softpedia.com. July 20, 2009. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. RetrievedMarch 29, 2013.
    69. Jump up^ Guo, Jeff; McQueen, Rob, "Gates asks students to tackle world’s problems : Disease and education among biggest challenges". Archived from the original on September 16, 2012., The Tech, Volume 130, Issue 21, Friday, April 23, 2010
    70. Jump up^ Guo, Jeff, "In interview, Gates describes philanthropic journey". Archived from the original on July 14, 2012., The Tech, Volume 130, Issue 21, April 23, 2010. (video & transcript). "After he spoke at Kresge Auditorium, Bill Gates sat down with The Tech to talk more about his college tour, his philanthropy, and the philosophy behind it."
    71. Jump up^ Matthew G. Miller; Peter Newcomb (January 2, 2014). "Billionaires Worth $3.7 Trillion Surge as Gates Wins 2013". Bloomberg Businessweek. RetrievedJanuary 3, 2014.
    72. Jump up^ "Bill Gates steps down as chairman, will assist new CEO as 'technology advisor'". The Verge. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
    73. Jump up^ Jeff Goodell (March 13, 2014). "Bill Gates: The Rolling Stone Interview".Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
    74. Jump up^ Langdell, James (May 14, 1985). "Top-Bachelor Gates: Is He Compatible?".PC Magazine. p. 51. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
    75. ^ Jump up to:a b Goodell, Jeff (March 27, 2014). "Bill Gates: The Rolling Stone Interview". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
    76. Jump up^ "coverage of the Gates' Medina, Washington estate". Forbes. May 22, 2002. Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
    77. Jump up^ (Lesinski 2006, p. 74)
    78. Jump up^ Paterson, Thane (June 13, 2000). ""He had come a long way to this blue lawn and his dream must have seemed so close he could hardly fail to grasp it"-FSF (Advice for Bill Gates: A Little Culture Wouldn't Hurt)". Business Week. Archived from the original on May 1, 2008. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
    79. Jump up^ "Bill Gates: Chairman". Microsoft Corporation. 2008. Archived from the original on May 23, 2012.
    80. Jump up^ "Profile: Bill Gates". BBC news. January 26, 2004. Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2010.
    81. Jump up^ (Fridson 2001, p. 113)
    82. Jump up^ Zuckerman, Laurence (October 27, 1997). "New Jet Eases Travel Hassles For Bill Gates". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2012.
    83. Jump up^ Bolger, Joe (May 5, 2006). "I wish I was not the richest man in the world, says Bill Gates". The Times (UK). Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
    84. Jump up^ Cuadros, Alex; Harrison, Crayton (May 17, 2013). "Bill Gates Retakes World's Richest Title From Carlos Slim". Forbes. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
    85. Jump up^ "Bill Gates regains world's richest man title: Forbes". The Times Of India. March 3, 2014.
    86. Jump up^ "Forbes Billionaires list". Archived from the original on May 25, 2012.
    87. Jump up^ Estevez, Dolia (June 7, 2014). "Mexico's Carlos Slim Reclaims World's Richest Man Title From Bill Gates". Forbes. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
    88. Jump up^ "Microsoft 2006 Proxy Statement". Microsoft. October 6, 2007. Archived from the original on May 30, 2012. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
    89. Jump up^ Fried, Ina (December 14, 2004). "Gates joins board of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway". CNET. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2008.
    90. Jump up^ "Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, or Add". Retrieved November 11, 2014.
    91. Jump up^ "Eleven Things You'll never learn in school". Retrieved November 11, 2014.
    92. Jump up^ Robin Toal (September 16, 2013). "The Top Ten US Charitable Foundations".Funds For NGOs. Funds For NGOs, LLC. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
    93. Jump up^ Cronin, Jon (January 25, 2005). "Bill Gates: billionaire philanthropist". BBC News. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2008.
    94. Jump up^ "Our Approach to Giving". Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Archived fromthe original on April 4, 2008. Retrieved April 1, 2008.
    95. Jump up^ "2005 Annual Report" (PDF). Rockefeller Brothers Fund. January 1, 2006.Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
    96. Jump up^ "The 50 most generous Americans". Archived from the original on February 22, 2012.
    97. Jump up^ "Bill and Melinda Gates give 95% of wealth to charity". BBC News. October 18, 2010. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012.
    98. Jump up^ "Bill Gates". Facebook. Retrieved August 15, 2014.
    99. Jump up^ Bina Abraham (October 1, 2010). "They half it in them". Gulf News. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
    100. Jump up^ Moss, Rosabeth (December 14, 2010). "Four Strategic Generosity Lessons".Business Week. Archived from the original on July 24, 2012. RetrievedMarch 9, 2011.
    101. Jump up^ "40 billionaires pledge to give away half of wealth". Archived from the original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
    102. Jump up^ Robyn Griggs Lawrence (February 22, 2011). "A Rich Gift: Homemade Jelly for Bill and Melinda Gates". Mother Earth News. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
    103. Jump up^ Matthew G.H. Chun (April 14, 1999). "Bill Gates Donates $20 million to MIT".The Harvard Crimson. The Harvard Crimson, Inc. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
    104. Jump up^ "Our Campus TEACHING, RESEARCH, AND ADMINISTRATIVE SPACES".Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. President and Fellows of Harvard College. 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
    105. Jump up^ "Gates Computer Science Building". Stanford Engineering. Stanford University. 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
    106. Jump up^ "Dark butt over good works of Gates Foundation". Los Angeles Times. January 7, 2007. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012., Los Angeles Times, January 7, 2006.
    107. Jump up^ Heim, Kristi (January 10, 2007). "Gates Foundation to review investments".The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012., The Seattle Times, January 10, 2007.
    108. Jump up^ Gates Foundation to maintain its investment plan, The Austin Statesman, January 14, 2007.[dead link]
    109. Jump up^ "Lefever, Ernest W. (November 1, 1999). "Bill Gates' 'Diversity' Subverts Merit". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012.",Los Angeles Times, November 1, 1999
    110. Jump up^ ""The Gates Millennium Scholars program". Archived from the original on August 3, 2012."
    111. Jump up^ Thibault, Marie (January 19, 2010). "The Next Bill Gates". Forbes. Archived from the original on July 31, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2010.
    112. Jump up^ (Lesinski 2006, p. 102)
    113. Jump up^ Cowley, Jason (June 22, 2006). "Heroes of our time — the top 50". New Statesman (UK). Retrieved February 17, 2008.[dead link]
    114. Jump up^ "Gates 'second only to Blair'". BBC News. September 26, 1999. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
    115. Jump up^ "The World's Most Powerful People". Forbes. December 5, 2012. Archivedfrom the original on December 30, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
    116. Jump up^ "The World's Most Powerful People". Forbes. November 2, 2011. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
    117. Jump up^ "Eredoctoraat Universiteit Nyenrode voor Wim Kok" (Press release) (in Dutch). Nyenrode Business Universiteit. August 13, 2003. Archived from the original on February 18, 2008. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
    118. Jump up^ "Honorary doctors at KTH". Retrieved July 5, 2014.
    119. Jump up^ "Bill Gates Awarded Honorary Doctorate of Tsinghua". Tsinghua University. April 19, 2007. Archived from the original on July 12, 2012. Retrieved June 9,2010.
    120. Jump up^ Hughes, Gina (June 8, 2007). "Bill Gates Gets Degree After 30 Years". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved February 18,2008.
    121. Jump up^ "Karolinska Institutet Medicine hedersdoktorer 1910‐2013". Karolinska Institutet. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
    122. Jump up^ University of Cambridge (June 12, 2009). "The Chancellor in Cambridge to confer Honorary Degrees". University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
    123. Jump up^ Blakely, Rhys (July 18, 2007). "Gates how piracy worked for me in China".The Times (London). Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. RetrievedApril 26, 2010.
    124. Jump up^ "Knighthood for Microsoft's Gates". BBC News. March 2, 2005. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
    125. Jump up^ "Proclamation of the Award". Diario Oficial de la Federación. Archived fromthe original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
    126. Jump up^ "Bower Award for Business Leadership". The Franklin Institute. 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
    127. Jump up^ "2010 Silver Buffalo Recipients". Scouting: 39. September–October 2010.
    128. Jump up^ Thompson, F. Christian (August 19, 1999). "Bill Gates' Flower Fly Eristalis gatesi Thompson". The Diptera Site. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
    129. Jump up^ National Winners | public service awards. Jefferson Awards.org. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
    130. Jump up^ "The 2006 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award". The Tech Museum of Innovation. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
    131. Jump up^ "Bill Gates Goes to Sundance, Offers an Education". ABC News. January 23, 2010. Archived from the original on July 1, 2012.
    132. Jump up^ 'Bogus Bill' has a blast playing billionaire in 'The Social Network'
    133. Jump up^ Wills, Amanda. "Bill Gates Joins LinkedIn", Mashable, New York, June 13, 2013. Retrieved on July 30, 2013.

Bibliography Edit

    • Fridson, Martin (2001), How to Be a Billionaire: Proven Strategies from the Titans of Wealth, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0-471-41617-7
    • Gates, Bill (1996), The Road Ahead, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-026040-4
    • Lesinski, Jeanne M. (2006), Bill Gates (biography), A&E Television Networks, ISBN 0-8225-7027-0
    • Manes, Stephen (1994), Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry and Made Himself The Richest Man in America, Touchstone Pictures, ISBN 0-671-88074-8
    • Wallace, James (1993), Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, ISBN 0-471-56886-4

Further reading Edit

    • Bank, David (2001). Breaking Windows: how Bill Gates fumbled the future of Microsoft. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-0315-1.
    • Rivlin, Gary (1999). The plot to get Bill Gates: an irreverent investigation of the world's richest man... and the people who hate him. New York: Times Business.ISBN 0-8129-3006-1.
    • "83 Reasons Why Bill Gates's Reign Is Over". Wired 6 (12). December 1998.
    • Kildall, Gary (October 25, 2004). "The Man Who Could Have Been Bill Gates". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
    • "The Meaning of Bill Gates: As his reign at Microsoft comes to an end, so does the era he dominated", The Economist, June 28, 2008.

External links Edit

Find more about

Bill Gates
at Wikipedia's sister projects

Media from Commons
News stories from Wikinews
Quotations from Wikiquote
Source texts from Wikisource
    • Official website
    • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
    • Profile at Microsoft
    • Profile at Forbes
    • Appearances on C-SPAN
    • Bill Gates at TED
    • Bill Gates at the Internet Movie Database
    • Bill Gates collected news and commentary at The Guardian
    • Bill Gates collected news and commentary at The New York Times
    • Bill Gates collected news and commentary at The Wall Street Journal
    • Bill Gates collected news and commentary at Bloomberg News
    • Works by or about Bill Gates in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
    • Works by Bill Gates at Open Library
    • Bill Gates at the Notable Names Database
    • How I Work: Bill Gates, Fortune, March 30, 2006.
    • The Forbes 400, September 16, 2008.
Business positions
First CEO of Microsoft

1975–2000

Succeeded by

Steve Ballmer

First Chairman of Microsoft

1975–2014

Succeeded by

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For other people named Bill Gates, see Bill Gates (disambiguation).

Bill Gates
Gates in July 2014
Born William Henry Gates III

October 28, 1955 (age 59)
Seattle, Washington, US

Residence Medina, Washington, US
Alma mater Harvard University (dropped out)
Occupation Technology Advisor of Microsoft

Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
CEO of Cascade Investment
Chair of Corbis

Years active 1975–present
Net worth US$80.1 billion (as of December 2014)[1]

Board member of

Microsoft

Berkshire Hathaway

Religion Roman Catholicism(formerly Protestant)[2]
Spouse(s) Melinda Gates ( 1994)
Children Jennifer Katharine Gates

Rory John Gates
Phoebe Adele Gates

Parents William H. Gates, Sr.

Mary Maxwell Gates

Signature
Website
TheGatesNotes.com

William Henry "Bill" Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, philanthropist, investor,computer programmer, and inventor.[3][4][5] Gates originally established his reputation as the co-founder of Microsoft, the world’s largest PC software company, with Paul Allen. Since then he has served as a long term CEO and chairman of the company.

Today he is consistently ranked in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people[6] and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2014 — excluding a few brief periods post-2008.[1] Between 2009 and 2014 his wealth more than doubled from $40 billion to more than $82 billion.[7] Between 2013 and 2014 his wealth increased by $15 billion, or around $1.5 billion more than the entire GDP of Iceland in 2014.[8]

During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, he was also the largest individual shareholder up until May 2014.[9][a] He has also authored and co-authored several books.

Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion which has in some cases been upheld by judicial courts.[12][13] In the later stages of his career, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.[14]

Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000. He remained as chairman and created the position of chief software architect for himself. In June 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work, and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie (who has since left Microsoft), chief software architect, and Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer. Gates's last full-time day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008. He stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in February 2014, taking on a new post as technology advisor to support newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella.[15]

Contents Edit

[hide] 

    • 1 Early life
    • 2 Microsoft
      • 2.1 BASIC
      • 2.2 IBM partnership
      • 2.3 Windows
      • 2.4 Management style
      • 2.5 Antitrust litigation
      • 2.6 Appearance in ads
    • 3 Post-Microsoft
    • 4 Personal life
      • 4.1 Philanthropy
        • 4.1.1 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
        • 4.1.2 Personal
        • 4.1.3 Criticism
      • 4.2 Recognition
      • 4.3 Other business ventures and investments
    • 5 Books, films, and social media
      • 5.1 Books
      • 5.2 Documentaries
      • 5.3 Feature films
      • 5.4 Social media
    • 6 See also
    • 7 Notes
    • 8 References
      • 8.1 Bibliography
    • 9 Further reading
    • 10 External links

Early life Edit

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, in an upper-middle-class family, the son of William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His ancestral origin includesEnglish, German, and Scots-Irish.[16][17] His father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and theUnited Way. Gates's maternal grandfather was JW Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates has one elder sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had the "II" suffix.[18] Early on in his life, Gates's parents had a law career in mind for him.[19] When Gates was young, his family regularly attended a Protestant Congregational church.[20][21][22] The family encouraged competition; one visitor reported that "it didn't matter whether it was hearts or pickleball or swimming to the dock ... there was always a reward for winning and there was always a penalty for losing".[23]

At 13, he enrolled in the Lakeside School, an exclusive preparatory school.[24] When he was in the eighth grade, the Mothers Club at the school used proceeds from Lakeside School's rummage sale to buy a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal and a block of computer time on a General Electric (GE) computer for the school's students.[25] Gates took an interest in programming the GE system in BASIC, and was excused from math classes to pursue his interest. He wrote his first computer program on this machine: an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed users to play games against the computer. Gates was fascinated by the machine and how it would always execute software code perfectly. When he reflected back on that moment, he said, "There was just something neat about the machine."[26] After the Mothers Club donation was exhausted, he and other students sought time on systems including DEC PDP minicomputers. One of these systems was a PDP-10belonging to Computer Center Corporation (CCC), which banned four Lakeside students—Gates, Paul Allen, Ric Weiland, and Kent Evans—for the summer after it caught them exploiting bugs in the operating system to obtain free computer time.[27][28]

At the end of the ban, the four students offered to find bugs in CCC's software in exchange for computer time. Rather than use the system via Teletype, Gates went to CCC's offices and studied source code for various programs that ran on the system, including programs in Fortran, Lisp, and machine language. The arrangement with CCC continued until 1970, when the company went out of business. The following year, Information Sciences, Inc. hired the four Lakeside students to write a payroll program in Cobol, providing them computer time and royalties. After his administrators became aware of his programming abilities, Gates wrote the school's computer program to schedule students in classes. He modified the code so that he was placed in classes with "a disproportionate number of interesting girls."[29] He later stated that "it was hard to tear myself away from a machine at which I could so unambiguously demonstrate success."[26] At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.[30] In early 1973, Bill Gates served as a congressional page in the U.S. House of Representatives.[31]

Gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973 and was a National Merit Scholar.[32] He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT[33] and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973.[34] While at Harvard, he met Steve Ballmer, who would later succeed Gates as CEO of Microsoft.[citation needed]

The Poker Room in Currier House atHarvard University, where Gates and Allen formed Microsoft

In his sophomore year, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems[35] presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates's solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years;[35][36] its successor is faster by only one percent.[35] His solution was later formalized in a published paper in collaboration with Harvard computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou.[37]

Gates did not have a definite study plan while a student at Harvard[38] and spent a lot of time using the school's computers. Gates remained in contact with Paul Allen, and he joined him at Honeywell during the summer of 1974.[39] The following year saw the release of the MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU, and Gates and Allen saw this as the opportunity to start their own computer software company.[40] Gates dropped out of Harvard at this time.[41] He had talked this decision over with his parents, who were supportive of him after seeing how much Gates wanted to start a company.[38]

Microsoft Edit

Main articles: History of Microsoft and Microsoft

BASIC Edit

MITS Altair 8800 Computer with 8-inch (200 mm) floppy disk system

After reading the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics that demonstrated the Altair 8800, Gates contacted Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), the creators of the new microcomputer, to inform them that he and others were working on a BASIC interpreter for the platform.[42] In reality, Gates and Allen did not have an Altair and had not written code for it; they merely wanted to gauge MITS's interest. MITS president Ed Roberts agreed to meet them for a demo, and over the course of a few weeks they developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter. The demonstration, held at MITS's offices in Albuquerque, was a success and resulted in a deal with MITS to distribute the interpreter as Altair BASIC. Paul Allen was hired into MITS,[43] and Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work with Allen at MITS in Albuquerque in November 1975. They named their partnership "Micro-Soft" and had their first office located in Albuquerque.[43] Within a year, the hyphen was dropped, and on November 26, 1976, the trade name "Microsoft" was registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico.[43] Gates never returned to Harvard to complete his studies.

Microsoft's BASIC was popular with computer hobbyists, but Gates discovered that a pre-market copy had leaked into the community and was being widely copied and distributed. In February 1976, Gates wrote an Open Letter to Hobbyists in the MITS newsletter saying that MITS could not continue to produce, distribute, and maintain high-quality software without payment.[44] This letter was unpopular with many computer hobbyists, but Gates persisted in his belief that software developers should be able to demand payment. Microsoft became independent of MITS in late 1976, and it continued to develop programming language software for various systems.[43] The company moved from Albuquerque to its new home in Bellevue, Washington on January 1, 1979.[42]

During Microsoft's early years, all employees had broad responsibility for the company's business. Gates oversaw the business details, but continued to write code as well. In the first five years, Gates personally reviewed every line of code the company shipped, and often rewrote parts of it as he saw fit.[45]

IBM partnership Edit

IBM approached Microsoft in July 1980 regarding its upcoming personal computer, the IBM PC.[46] The computer company first proposed that Microsoft write the BASIC interpreter. When IBM's representatives mentioned that they needed an operating system, Gates referred them to Digital Research (DRI), makers of the widely used CP/M operating system.[47] IBM's discussions with Digital Research went poorly, and they did not reach a licensing agreement. IBM representative Jack Sams mentioned the licensing difficulties during a subsequent meeting with Gates and told him to get an acceptable operating system. A few weeks later, Gates proposed using 86-DOS (QDOS), an operating system similar to CP/M that Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products (SCP) had made for hardware similar to the PC. Microsoft made a deal with SCP to become the exclusive licensing agent, and later the full owner, of 86-DOS. After adapting the operating system for the PC, Microsoft delivered it to IBM as PC DOS in exchange for a one-time fee of $50,000.[48]

Gates did not offer to transfer the copyright on the operating system, because he believed that other hardware vendors would clone IBM's system.[48] They did, and the sales of MS-DOS made Microsoft a major player in the industry.[49] Despite IBM's name on the operating system the press quickly identified Microsoft as being very influential on the new computer, with PC Magazine asking if Gates were "The Man Behind The Machine?"[46] He oversaw Microsoft's company restructuring on June 25, 1981, which re-incorporated the company in Washington state and made Gates President of Microsoft and the Chairman of the Board.[42]

Windows Edit

Microsoft launched its first retail version of Microsoft Windows on November 20, 1985, and in August, the company struck a deal with IBM to develop a separate operating system called OS/2. Although the two companies successfully developed the first version of the new system, mounting creative differences caused the partnership to deteriorate.[50]

Management style Edit

Bill Gates in January 2008

From Microsoft's founding in 1975 until 2006, Gates had primary responsibility for the company's product strategy. He aggressively broadened the company's range of products, and wherever Microsoft achieved a dominant position he vigorously defended it. He gained a reputation for being distant to others; as early as 1981 an industry executive complained in public that "Gates is notorious for not being reachable by phone and for not returning phone calls."[51] Another executive recalled that after he showed Gates a game and defeated him 35 of 37 times, when they met again a month later Gates "won or tied every game. He had studied the game until he solved it. That is a competitor."[52]

As an executive, Gates met regularly with Microsoft's senior managers and program managers. Firsthand accounts of these meetings describe him as verbally combative, berating managers for perceived holes in their business strategies or proposals that placed the company's long-term interests at risk.[53][54]

He has interrupted presentations with such comments "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!"[55] and, "Why don't you just give up your options and join the Peace Corps?"[56] The target of his outburst then had to defend the proposal in detail until, hopefully, Gates was fully convinced.[55] When subordinates appeared to be procrastinating, he was known to remark sarcastically, "I'll do it over the weekend."[57][58][59]

Gates's role at Microsoft for most of its history was primarily a management and executive role. However, he was an active software developer in the early years, particularly on the company's programming language products. He has not officially been on a development team since working on the TRS-80 Model 100,[60] but wrote code as late as 1989 that shipped in the company's products.[58] On June 15, 2006, Gates announced that he would transition out of his day-to-day role over the next two years to dedicate more time to philanthropy. He divided his responsibilities between two successors, placing Ray Ozzie in charge of day-to-day management and Craig Mundie in charge of long-term product strategy.[61]

Antitrust litigation Edit

Further information: United States Microsoft antitrust case and European Union Microsoft competition case

Gates giving his deposition at Microsoft on August 27, 1998

Many decisions that led to antitrust litigation over Microsoft's business practices have had Gates's approval. In the 1998United States v. Microsoft case, Gates gave deposition testimony that several journalists characterized as evasive. He argued with examiner David Boies over the contextual meaning of words such as, "compete", "concerned", and "we". The judge and other observers in the court room were seen laughing at various points during the deposition.[62] BusinessWeekreported:

Gates later said he had simply resisted attempts by Boies to mischaracterize his words and actions. As to his demeanor during the deposition, he said, "Did I fence with Boies? ... I plead guilty. Whatever that penalty is should be levied against me: rudeness to Boies in the first degree."[64] Despite Gates' denials, the judge ruled that Microsoft had committed monopolization and tying, and blocking competition, both in violation of theSherman Antitrust Act.[64]

Appearance in ads Edit

Gates mugshot of his 1977 arrest in New Mexico

Gates appeared in a series of ads to promote Microsoft in 2008. The first commercial, co-starring Jerry Seinfeld, is a 90-second talk between strangers as Seinfeld walks up on a discount shoe store (Shoe Circus) in a mall and notices Gates buying shoes inside. The salesman is trying to sell Mr. Gates shoes that are a size too big. As Gates is buying the shoes, he holds up his discount card, which uses a slightly altered version of his own mugshot of his arrest in New Mexico in 1977 for a traffic violation.[65] As they are walking out of the mall, Seinfeld asks Gates if he has melded his mind to other developers, after getting a "Yes", he then asks if they are working on a way to make computers edible, again getting a "Yes". Some say that this is an homage to Seinfeld's own show about "nothing" (Seinfeld).[66] In a second commercial in the series, Gates and Seinfeld are at the home of an average family trying to fit in with normal people.[citation needed]


Post-Microsoft Edit

Since leaving day-to-day operations at Microsoft, Gates continues his philanthropy and, among other projects, purchased the video rights to the Messenger Lectures series called The Character of Physical Law, given at Cornell University by Richard Feynman in 1964 and recorded by the BBC. The videos are available online to the public at Microsoft's Project Tuva.[67][68] In April 2010, Gates was invited to visit and speak at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he asked the students to take on the difficult problems of the world in their futures.[69][70]

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Gates was the world's highest-earning billionaire in 2013, as his fortune increased by US$15.8 billion to US$78.5 billion. As of January 2014, most of Gates’s assets are held in Cascade Investment LLC, an entity through which he owns stakes in numerous businesses, including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and Corbis Corp.[71] On February 4, 2014, Gates stepped down as Chair of Microsoft to become Technology Advisor alongsideSatya Nadella.[72]

In a substantial interview with Rolling Stone magazine, published in the March 27, 2014 issue, Gates provided his perspective on a range of issues, such as climate change, his charitable activities, various tech companies and people involved in them, and the state of America. In response to a question about his greatest fear when he looks 50 years into the future, Gates stated: "... there'll be some really bad things that'll happen in the next 50 or 100 years, but hopefully none of them on the scale of, say, a million people that you didn't expect to die from a pandemic, or nuclear or bioterrorism." Gates also identified innovation as the "real driver of progress" and pronounced that "America's way better today than it's ever been."[73]

Personal life Edit

Bill and Melinda Gates, June 2009

After being named one of Good Housekeeping '​s "50 Most Eligible Bachelors" in 1985,[74] Gates married Melinda French on January 1, 1994. They have three children: daughters Jennifer Katharine (b. 1996) and Phoebe Adele (b. 2002), and son Rory John (b. 1999). The family resides in the Gates's home, an earth-sheltered house in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina. According to King County public records, as of 2006 the total assessed value of the property (land and house) is $125 million, and the annual property tax is $991,000. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gates stated in regard to his faith:

In the same interview, Gates said: "I agree with people like Richard Dawkins that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm – not all – that religion used to fill. But the mystery and the beauty of the world is overwhelmingly amazing, and there's no scientific explanation of how it came about. To say that it was generated by random numbers, that does seem, you know, sort of an uncharitable view [laughs]. I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don't know."[75]

Gates's 66,000 sq ft (6,100 m2) estate has a 60-foot (18 m) swimming pool with an underwater music system, as well as a 2,500 sq ft (230 m2) gym and a 1,000 sq ft (93 m2) dining room.[76]

Also among Gates's private acquisitions is the Codex Leicester, a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci, which Gates bought for $30.8 million at an auction in 1994.[77] Gates is also known as an avid reader, and the ceiling of his large home library is engraved with a quotation from The Great Gatsby.[78] He also enjoys playing bridge, tennis, and golf.[79][80]

Gates was number one on the Forbes 400 list from 1993 through to 2007 and number one on Forbes list of The World's Richest People from 1995 to 2007 and 2009. In 1999, his wealth briefly surpassed $101 billion, causing the media to call Gates a "centibillionaire".[81] Despite his wealth and extensive business travel Gates usually flew coach until 1997, when he bought a private jet.[82] Since 2000, the nominal value of his Microsoft holdings has declined due to a fall in Microsoft's stock price after the dot-com bubble burst and the multi-billion dollar donations he has made to his charitable foundations. In a May 2006 interview, Gates commented that he wished that he were not the richest man in the world because he disliked the attention it brought.[83] In March 2010, Gates was the second wealthiest person behind Carlos Slim, but regained the top position in 2013 according to the Bloomberg Billionaires List.[84][85] Carlos Slim retook the position again in June 2014.[86][87]

Gates has several investments outside Microsoft, which in 2006 paid him a salary of $616,667 and $350,000 bonus totalling $966,667.[88] He founded Corbis, a digital imaging company, in 1989. In 2004 he became a director of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company headed by long-time friend Warren Buffett.[89]

Around the 1990s, Gates spoke at a high school about "the eleven rules of life," aimed at high school and college graduates. The rules have since been repeated in schools across the world, with the purpose of educating students on how to be successful in their future. Although the rules are commonly attributed to Gates, it is actually originally written by educator Charles Sykes in his book "Dumbing Down on Our Kids," written in 1996. [90] [91]

Philanthropy Edit

Gates with Bono, Queen Rania of Jordan, former British Prime MinisterGordon Brown, President Umaru Yar'Adua of Nigeria and others during the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland

Main article: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Edit

Gates studied the work of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, and in 1994 sold some of his Microsoft stock to create the "William H. Gates Foundation." In 2000, Gates and his wife combined three family foundations to create the charitable "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation," which was identified by the Funds for NGOs company in 2013 as the world's wealthiest charitable foundation, with assets reportedly valued at more than US$34.6 billion.[92] The Foundation allows benefactors to access information that shows how its money is being spent, unlike other major charitable organizations such as theWellcome Trust.[93][94]

Gates has credited the generosity and extensive philanthropy of David Rockefeller as a major influence. Gates and his father met with Rockefeller several times, and their charity work is partly modeled on the Rockefeller family's philanthropic focus, whereby they are interested in tackling the global problems that are ignored by governments and other organizations.[95] As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were the second-most generous philanthropists in America, having given over US$28 billion to charity;[96] the couple plan to eventually donate 95 percent of their wealth to charity.[97]

On August 15, 2014, Bill Gates posted a video of himself dumping a bucket of ice water on his head, after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg challenged him to do so, in order to raise awareness for ALS.[98]

Personal Edit

Gates's wife urged people to learn a lesson from the philanthropic efforts of the Salwen family, which had sold its home and given away half of its value, as detailed in The Power of Half.[99] Gates and his wife invited Joan Salwen to Seattle to speak about what the family had done, and on December 9, 2010, Gates, investorWarren Buffett, and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg signed a commitment they called the "Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge." The pledge is a commitment by all three to donate at least half of their wealth over the course of time to charity.[100][101][102]

Gates has also provided personal donations to educational institutions. In 1999 Gates donated US$20 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the construction of a computer laboratory named the "William H. Gates Building" that was designed by architect Frank O. Gehry. While Microsoft had previously given financial support to the institution, this was the first personal donation received from Gates.[103]

The Maxwell Dworkin Laboratory of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is named after the mothers of both Gates and Microsoft President Steven A. Ballmer, both of whom were students (Ballmer was a member of the School's graduating class of 1977, while Gates left his studies for Microsoft), and donated funds for the laboratory's construction.[104] Gates also donated US$6 million to the construction of the Gates Computer Science Building, completed in January 1996, on the campus of Stanford University. The building contains the Computer Science Department (CSD) and the Computer Systems Laboratory (CSL) of Stanford's Engineering department.[105]

Criticism Edit

Further information: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation § Criticism

In 2007 the Los Angeles Times criticized the foundation for investing its assets in companies which have been accused of worsening poverty, polluting heavily, and pharmaceutical companies that do not sell into the developing world.[106] In response to press criticism, the foundation announced a review of its investments to assess social responsibility.[107] It subsequently canceled the review and stood by its policy of investing for maximum return, while using voting rights to influence company practices.[108] The Gates Millennium Scholars program has been criticized by Ernest W. Lefever for its exclusion of Caucasian students.[109] The scholarship program is administered by the United Negro College Fund.[110]

Recognition Edit

Gates and Steve Jobs at the 5thD: All Things Digital conference (D5) in 2007

In 1987 Gates was listed as a billionaire in Forbes magazine's 400 Richest People in America issue, just days before his 32nd birthday. As the world's youngest self-made billionaire, he was worth $1.25 billion, over $900 million more than he'd been worth the year before, when he'd debuted on the list.[111]

Time magazine named Gates one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th century, as well as one of the 100 most influential people of 2004, 2005, and 2006. Time also collectively named Gates, his wife Melinda and U2's lead singer Bonoas the 2005 Persons of the Year for their humanitarian efforts.[112] In 2006, he was voted eighth in the list of "Heroes of our time".[113] Gates was listed in the Sunday Times power list in 1999, named CEO of the year by Chief Executive Officers magazine in 1994, ranked number one in the "Top 50 Cyber Elite" by Time in 1998, ranked number two in the Upside Elite 100 in 1999 and was included in The Guardian as one of the "Top 100 influential people in media" in 2001.[114]

According to Forbes, Gates was ranked as the fourth most powerful person in the world in 2012,[115] up from fifth in 2011.[116]

In 1994, he was honored as the twentieth Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society. Gates has received honorary doctorates from Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Breukelen, The Netherlands, in 2000;[117] KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, in 2002;[118] Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, in 2005; Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in April 2007;[119] Harvard University in June 2007;[120] Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, in 2007,[121] and Cambridge University in June 2009.[122] He was also made an honorary trustee of Peking University in 2007.[123]

Gates was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005.[124] In November 2006, he was awarded the Placard of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, together with his wife Melinda who was awarded the Insignia of the same order, both for their philanthropic work around the world in the areas of health and education, particularly in Mexico, and specifically in the program "Un país de lectores".[125] Gates received the 2010 Bower Award for Business Leadership from The Franklin Institute for his achievements at Microsoft and his philanthropic work.[126] Also in 2010 he was honored with theSilver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America, its highest award for adults, for his service to youth.[127]

Entomologists named Bill Gates' flower fly, Eristalis gatesi, in his honor in 1997.[128]

In 2002, Bill and Melinda Gates received the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged.[129]

In 2006, Gates received the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award from The Tech Awards.[130]

Other business ventures and investments Edit

    • Cascade Investments LLC, a private investment and holding company, incorporated in United States, is controlled by Bill Gates, and is headquartered in the city of Kirkland, Washington.
    • bgC3, a new think-tank company founded by Bill Gates.
    • Corbis, a digital image licensing and rights services company.
    • TerraPower, a nuclear reactor design company.
    • Research Gate, a social networking site for scientists. Gates has invested $35 million in the site.

Books, films, and social media Edit

Books Edit

To date, Bill Gates has authored two books:

    • The Road Ahead, written with Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold and journalist Peter Rinearson, was published in November 1995. It summarized the implications of the personal computing revolution and described a future profoundly changed by the arrival of a global information superhighway.
    • Business @ the Speed of Thought was published in 1999, and discusses how business and technology are integrated, and shows how digital infrastructures and information networks can help getting an edge on the competition.

Documentaries Edit

    • Triumph of the Nerds (1996)
    • Nerds 2.0.1 (1998)
    • Waiting for "Superman" (2010) [131]
    • The Virtual Revolution (2010)

Feature films Edit

    • Pirates of Silicon Valley, a 1999 film which chronicles the rise of Apple and Microsoft from the early 1970s to 1997. Gates is portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall.
    • The Social Network, a 2010 film which chronicles the development of Facebook. Gates is portrayed by Steve Sires.[132]

Social media Edit

In 2013, Gates became a LinkedIn Influencer.[133]

See also Edit

Biography portal
Microsoft portal
    • Big History – academic discipline advocated by Bill Gates
    • List of billionaires
    • List of college dropout billionaires
    • List of wealthiest non-inflated historical figures
    • Paul Allen – Microsoft's co-founder, friend, and fellow billionaire
    • List of richest Americans in history

Notes Edit

    1. Jump up^ Gates regularly documents his share ownership through public U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission form 4 filings.[10][11]

References Edit

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Bibliography Edit

    • Fridson, Martin (2001), How to Be a Billionaire: Proven Strategies from the Titans of Wealth, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0-471-41617-7
    • Gates, Bill (1996), The Road Ahead, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-026040-4
    • Lesinski, Jeanne M. (2006), Bill Gates (biography), A&E Television Networks, ISBN 0-8225-7027-0
    • Manes, Stephen (1994), Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry and Made Himself The Richest Man in America, Touchstone Pictures, ISBN 0-671-88074-8
    • Wallace, James (1993), Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, ISBN 0-471-56886-4

Further reading Edit

    • Bank, David (2001). Breaking Windows: how Bill Gates fumbled the future of Microsoft. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-0315-1.
    • Rivlin, Gary (1999). The plot to get Bill Gates: an irreverent investigation of the world's richest man... and the people who hate him. New York: Times Business.ISBN 0-8129-3006-1.
    • "83 Reasons Why Bill Gates's Reign Is Over". Wired 6 (12). December 1998.
    • Kildall, Gary (October 25, 2004). "The Man Who Could Have Been Bill Gates". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
    • "The Meaning of Bill Gates: As his reign at Microsoft comes to an end, so does the era he dominated", The Economist, June 28, 2008.

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For other people named Bill Gates, see Bill Gates (disambiguation).

Bill Gates
Gates in July 2014
Born William Henry Gates III

October 28, 1955 (age 59)
Seattle, Washington, US

Residence Medina, Washington, US
Alma mater Harvard University (dropped out)
Occupation Technology Advisor of Microsoft

Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
CEO of Cascade Investment
Chair of Corbis

Years active 1975–present
Net worth US$80.1 billion (as of December 2014)[1]

Board member of

Microsoft

Berkshire Hathaway

Religion Roman Catholicism(formerly Protestant)[2]
Spouse(s) Melinda Gates ( 1994)
Children Jennifer Katharine Gates

Rory John Gates
Phoebe Adele Gates

Parents William H. Gates, Sr.

Mary Maxwell Gates

Signature
Website
TheGatesNotes.com

William Henry "Bill" Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, philanthropist, investor,computer programmer, and inventor.[3][4][5] Gates originally established his reputation as the co-founder of Microsoft, the world’s largest PC software company, with Paul Allen. Since then he has served as a long term CEO and chairman of the company.

Today he is consistently ranked in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people[6] and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2014 — excluding a few brief periods post-2008.[1] Between 2009 and 2014 his wealth more than doubled from $40 billion to more than $82 billion.[7] Between 2013 and 2014 his wealth increased by $15 billion, or around $1.5 billion more than the entire GDP of Iceland in 2014.[8]

During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, he was also the largest individual shareholder up until May 2014.[9][a] He has also authored and co-authored several books.

Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion which has in some cases been upheld by judicial courts.[12][13] In the later stages of his career, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.[14]

Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000. He remained as chairman and created the position of chief software architect for himself. In June 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work, and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie (who has since left Microsoft), chief software architect, and Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer. Gates's last full-time day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008. He stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in February 2014, taking on a new post as technology advisor to support newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella.[15]

Contents Edit

[hide] 

    • 1 Early life
    • 2 Microsoft
      • 2.1 BASIC
      • 2.2 IBM partnership
      • 2.3 Windows
      • 2.4 Management style
      • 2.5 Antitrust litigation
      • 2.6 Appearance in ads
    • 3 Post-Microsoft
    • 4 Personal life
      • 4.1 Philanthropy
        • 4.1.1 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
        • 4.1.2 Personal
        • 4.1.3 Criticism
      • 4.2 Recognition
      • 4.3 Other business ventures and investments
    • 5 Books, films, and social media
      • 5.1 Books
      • 5.2 Documentaries
      • 5.3 Feature films
      • 5.4 Social media
    • 6 See also
    • 7 Notes
    • 8 References
      • 8.1 Bibliography
    • 9 Further reading
    • 10 External links

Early life Edit

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, in an upper-middle-class family, the son of William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His ancestral origin includesEnglish, German, and Scots-Irish.[16][17] His father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and theUnited Way. Gates's maternal grandfather was JW Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates has one elder sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had the "II" suffix.[18] Early on in his life, Gates's parents had a law career in mind for him.[19] When Gates was young, his family regularly attended a Protestant Congregational church.[20][21][22] The family encouraged competition; one visitor reported that "it didn't matter whether it was hearts or pickleball or swimming to the dock ... there was always a reward for winning and there was always a penalty for losing".[23]

At 13, he enrolled in the Lakeside School, an exclusive preparatory school.[24] When he was in the eighth grade, the Mothers Club at the school used proceeds from Lakeside School's rummage sale to buy a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal and a block of computer time on a General Electric (GE) computer for the school's students.[25] Gates took an interest in programming the GE system in BASIC, and was excused from math classes to pursue his interest. He wrote his first computer program on this machine: an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed users to play games against the computer. Gates was fascinated by the machine and how it would always execute software code perfectly. When he reflected back on that moment, he said, "There was just something neat about the machine."[26] After the Mothers Club donation was exhausted, he and other students sought time on systems including DEC PDP minicomputers. One of these systems was a PDP-10belonging to Computer Center Corporation (CCC), which banned four Lakeside students—Gates, Paul Allen, Ric Weiland, and Kent Evans—for the summer after it caught them exploiting bugs in the operating system to obtain free computer time.[27][28]

At the end of the ban, the four students offered to find bugs in CCC's software in exchange for computer time. Rather than use the system via Teletype, Gates went to CCC's offices and studied source code for various programs that ran on the system, including programs in Fortran, Lisp, and machine language. The arrangement with CCC continued until 1970, when the company went out of business. The following year, Information Sciences, Inc. hired the four Lakeside students to write a payroll program in Cobol, providing them computer time and royalties. After his administrators became aware of his programming abilities, Gates wrote the school's computer program to schedule students in classes. He modified the code so that he was placed in classes with "a disproportionate number of interesting girls."[29] He later stated that "it was hard to tear myself away from a machine at which I could so unambiguously demonstrate success."[26] At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.[30] In early 1973, Bill Gates served as a congressional page in the U.S. House of Representatives.[31]

Gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973 and was a National Merit Scholar.[32] He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT[33] and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973.[34] While at Harvard, he met Steve Ballmer, who would later succeed Gates as CEO of Microsoft.[citation needed]

The Poker Room in Currier House atHarvard University, where Gates and Allen formed Microsoft

In his sophomore year, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems[35] presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates's solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years;[35][36] its successor is faster by only one percent.[35] His solution was later formalized in a published paper in collaboration with Harvard computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou.[37]

Gates did not have a definite study plan while a student at Harvard[38] and spent a lot of time using the school's computers. Gates remained in contact with Paul Allen, and he joined him at Honeywell during the summer of 1974.[39] The following year saw the release of the MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU, and Gates and Allen saw this as the opportunity to start their own computer software company.[40] Gates dropped out of Harvard at this time.[41] He had talked this decision over with his parents, who were supportive of him after seeing how much Gates wanted to start a company.[38]

Microsoft Edit

Main articles: History of Microsoft and Microsoft

BASIC Edit

MITS Altair 8800 Computer with 8-inch (200 mm) floppy disk system

After reading the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics that demonstrated the Altair 8800, Gates contacted Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), the creators of the new microcomputer, to inform them that he and others were working on a BASIC interpreter for the platform.[42] In reality, Gates and Allen did not have an Altair and had not written code for it; they merely wanted to gauge MITS's interest. MITS president Ed Roberts agreed to meet them for a demo, and over the course of a few weeks they developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter. The demonstration, held at MITS's offices in Albuquerque, was a success and resulted in a deal with MITS to distribute the interpreter as Altair BASIC. Paul Allen was hired into MITS,[43] and Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work with Allen at MITS in Albuquerque in November 1975. They named their partnership "Micro-Soft" and had their first office located in Albuquerque.[43] Within a year, the hyphen was dropped, and on November 26, 1976, the trade name "Microsoft" was registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico.[43] Gates never returned to Harvard to complete his studies.

Microsoft's BASIC was popular with computer hobbyists, but Gates discovered that a pre-market copy had leaked into the community and was being widely copied and distributed. In February 1976, Gates wrote an Open Letter to Hobbyists in the MITS newsletter saying that MITS could not continue to produce, distribute, and maintain high-quality software without payment.[44] This letter was unpopular with many computer hobbyists, but Gates persisted in his belief that software developers should be able to demand payment. Microsoft became independent of MITS in late 1976, and it continued to develop programming language software for various systems.[43] The company moved from Albuquerque to its new home in Bellevue, Washington on January 1, 1979.[42]

During Microsoft's early years, all employees had broad responsibility for the company's business. Gates oversaw the business details, but continued to write code as well. In the first five years, Gates personally reviewed every line of code the company shipped, and often rewrote parts of it as he saw fit.[45]

IBM partnership Edit

IBM approached Microsoft in July 1980 regarding its upcoming personal computer, the IBM PC.[46] The computer company first proposed that Microsoft write the BASIC interpreter. When IBM's representatives mentioned that they needed an operating system, Gates referred them to Digital Research (DRI), makers of the widely used CP/M operating system.[47] IBM's discussions with Digital Research went poorly, and they did not reach a licensing agreement. IBM representative Jack Sams mentioned the licensing difficulties during a subsequent meeting with Gates and told him to get an acceptable operating system. A few weeks later, Gates proposed using 86-DOS (QDOS), an operating system similar to CP/M that Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products (SCP) had made for hardware similar to the PC. Microsoft made a deal with SCP to become the exclusive licensing agent, and later the full owner, of 86-DOS. After adapting the operating system for the PC, Microsoft delivered it to IBM as PC DOS in exchange for a one-time fee of $50,000.[48]

Gates did not offer to transfer the copyright on the operating system, because he believed that other hardware vendors would clone IBM's system.[48] They did, and the sales of MS-DOS made Microsoft a major player in the industry.[49] Despite IBM's name on the operating system the press quickly identified Microsoft as being very influential on the new computer, with PC Magazine asking if Gates were "The Man Behind The Machine?"[46] He oversaw Microsoft's company restructuring on June 25, 1981, which re-incorporated the company in Washington state and made Gates President of Microsoft and the Chairman of the Board.[42]

Windows Edit

Microsoft launched its first retail version of Microsoft Windows on November 20, 1985, and in August, the company struck a deal with IBM to develop a separate operating system called OS/2. Although the two companies successfully developed the first version of the new system, mounting creative differences caused the partnership to deteriorate.[50]

Management style Edit

Bill Gates in January 2008

From Microsoft's founding in 1975 until 2006, Gates had primary responsibility for the company's product strategy. He aggressively broadened the company's range of products, and wherever Microsoft achieved a dominant position he vigorously defended it. He gained a reputation for being distant to others; as early as 1981 an industry executive complained in public that "Gates is notorious for not being reachable by phone and for not returning phone calls."[51] Another executive recalled that after he showed Gates a game and defeated him 35 of 37 times, when they met again a month later Gates "won or tied every game. He had studied the game until he solved it. That is a competitor."[52]

As an executive, Gates met regularly with Microsoft's senior managers and program managers. Firsthand accounts of these meetings describe him as verbally combative, berating managers for perceived holes in their business strategies or proposals that placed the company's long-term interests at risk.[53][54]

He has interrupted presentations with such comments "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!"[55] and, "Why don't you just give up your options and join the Peace Corps?"[56] The target of his outburst then had to defend the proposal in detail until, hopefully, Gates was fully convinced.[55] When subordinates appeared to be procrastinating, he was known to remark sarcastically, "I'll do it over the weekend."[57][58][59]

Gates's role at Microsoft for most of its history was primarily a management and executive role. However, he was an active software developer in the early years, particularly on the company's programming language products. He has not officially been on a development team since working on the TRS-80 Model 100,[60] but wrote code as late as 1989 that shipped in the company's products.[58] On June 15, 2006, Gates announced that he would transition out of his day-to-day role over the next two years to dedicate more time to philanthropy. He divided his responsibilities between two successors, placing Ray Ozzie in charge of day-to-day management and Craig Mundie in charge of long-term product strategy.[61]

Antitrust litigation Edit

Further information: United States Microsoft antitrust case and European Union Microsoft competition case

Gates giving his deposition at Microsoft on August 27, 1998

Many decisions that led to antitrust litigation over Microsoft's business practices have had Gates's approval. In the 1998United States v. Microsoft case, Gates gave deposition testimony that several journalists characterized as evasive. He argued with examiner David Boies over the contextual meaning of words such as, "compete", "concerned", and "we". The judge and other observers in the court room were seen laughing at various points during the deposition.[62] BusinessWeekreported:

Gates later said he had simply resisted attempts by Boies to mischaracterize his words and actions. As to his demeanor during the deposition, he said, "Did I fence with Boies? ... I plead guilty. Whatever that penalty is should be levied against me: rudeness to Boies in the first degree."[64] Despite Gates' denials, the judge ruled that Microsoft had committed monopolization and tying, and blocking competition, both in violation of theSherman Antitrust Act.[64]

Appearance in ads Edit

Gates mugshot of his 1977 arrest in New Mexico

Gates appeared in a series of ads to promote Microsoft in 2008. The first commercial, co-starring Jerry Seinfeld, is a 90-second talk between strangers as Seinfeld walks up on a discount shoe store (Shoe Circus) in a mall and notices Gates buying shoes inside. The salesman is trying to sell Mr. Gates shoes that are a size too big. As Gates is buying the shoes, he holds up his discount card, which uses a slightly altered version of his own mugshot of his arrest in New Mexico in 1977 for a traffic violation.[65] As they are walking out of the mall, Seinfeld asks Gates if he has melded his mind to other developers, after getting a "Yes", he then asks if they are working on a way to make computers edible, again getting a "Yes". Some say that this is an homage to Seinfeld's own show about "nothing" (Seinfeld).[66] In a second commercial in the series, Gates and Seinfeld are at the home of an average family trying to fit in with normal people.[citation needed]


Post-Microsoft Edit

Since leaving day-to-day operations at Microsoft, Gates continues his philanthropy and, among other projects, purchased the video rights to the Messenger Lectures series called The Character of Physical Law, given at Cornell University by Richard Feynman in 1964 and recorded by the BBC. The videos are available online to the public at Microsoft's Project Tuva.[67][68] In April 2010, Gates was invited to visit and speak at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he asked the students to take on the difficult problems of the world in their futures.[69][70]

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Gates was the world's highest-earning billionaire in 2013, as his fortune increased by US$15.8 billion to US$78.5 billion. As of January 2014, most of Gates’s assets are held in Cascade Investment LLC, an entity through which he owns stakes in numerous businesses, including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and Corbis Corp.[71] On February 4, 2014, Gates stepped down as Chair of Microsoft to become Technology Advisor alongsideSatya Nadella.[72]

In a substantial interview with Rolling Stone magazine, published in the March 27, 2014 issue, Gates provided his perspective on a range of issues, such as climate change, his charitable activities, various tech companies and people involved in them, and the state of America. In response to a question about his greatest fear when he looks 50 years into the future, Gates stated: "... there'll be some really bad things that'll happen in the next 50 or 100 years, but hopefully none of them on the scale of, say, a million people that you didn't expect to die from a pandemic, or nuclear or bioterrorism." Gates also identified innovation as the "real driver of progress" and pronounced that "America's way better today than it's ever been."[73]

Personal life Edit

Bill and Melinda Gates, June 2009

After being named one of Good Housekeeping '​s "50 Most Eligible Bachelors" in 1985,[74] Gates married Melinda French on January 1, 1994. They have three children: daughters Jennifer Katharine (b. 1996) and Phoebe Adele (b. 2002), and son Rory John (b. 1999). The family resides in the Gates's home, an earth-sheltered house in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina. According to King County public records, as of 2006 the total assessed value of the property (land and house) is $125 million, and the annual property tax is $991,000. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gates stated in regard to his faith:

In the same interview, Gates said: "I agree with people like Richard Dawkins that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm – not all – that religion used to fill. But the mystery and the beauty of the world is overwhelmingly amazing, and there's no scientific explanation of how it came about. To say that it was generated by random numbers, that does seem, you know, sort of an uncharitable view [laughs]. I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don't know."[75]

Gates's 66,000 sq ft (6,100 m2) estate has a 60-foot (18 m) swimming pool with an underwater music system, as well as a 2,500 sq ft (230 m2) gym and a 1,000 sq ft (93 m2) dining room.[76]

Also among Gates's private acquisitions is the Codex Leicester, a collection of writings by Leonardo da Vinci, which Gates bought for $30.8 million at an auction in 1994.[77] Gates is also known as an avid reader, and the ceiling of his large home library is engraved with a quotation from The Great Gatsby.[78] He also enjoys playing bridge, tennis, and golf.[79][80]

Gates was number one on the Forbes 400 list from 1993 through to 2007 and number one on Forbes list of The World's Richest People from 1995 to 2007 and 2009. In 1999, his wealth briefly surpassed $101 billion, causing the media to call Gates a "centibillionaire".[81] Despite his wealth and extensive business travel Gates usually flew coach until 1997, when he bought a private jet.[82] Since 2000, the nominal value of his Microsoft holdings has declined due to a fall in Microsoft's stock price after the dot-com bubble burst and the multi-billion dollar donations he has made to his charitable foundations. In a May 2006 interview, Gates commented that he wished that he were not the richest man in the world because he disliked the attention it brought.[83] In March 2010, Gates was the second wealthiest person behind Carlos Slim, but regained the top position in 2013 according to the Bloomberg Billionaires List.[84][85] Carlos Slim retook the position again in June 2014.[86][87]

Gates has several investments outside Microsoft, which in 2006 paid him a salary of $616,667 and $350,000 bonus totalling $966,667.[88] He founded Corbis, a digital imaging company, in 1989. In 2004 he became a director of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company headed by long-time friend Warren Buffett.[89]

Around the 1990s, Gates spoke at a high school about "the eleven rules of life," aimed at high school and college graduates. The rules have since been repeated in schools across the world, with the purpose of educating students on how to be successful in their future. Although the rules are commonly attributed to Gates, it is actually originally written by educator Charles Sykes in his book "Dumbing Down on Our Kids," written in 1996. [90] [91]

Philanthropy Edit

Gates with Bono, Queen Rania of Jordan, former British Prime MinisterGordon Brown, President Umaru Yar'Adua of Nigeria and others during the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland

Main article: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Edit

Gates studied the work of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, and in 1994 sold some of his Microsoft stock to create the "William H. Gates Foundation." In 2000, Gates and his wife combined three family foundations to create the charitable "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation," which was identified by the Funds for NGOs company in 2013 as the world's wealthiest charitable foundation, with assets reportedly valued at more than US$34.6 billion.[92] The Foundation allows benefactors to access information that shows how its money is being spent, unlike other major charitable organizations such as theWellcome Trust.[93][94]

Gates has credited the generosity and extensive philanthropy of David Rockefeller as a major influence. Gates and his father met with Rockefeller several times, and their charity work is partly modeled on the Rockefeller family's philanthropic focus, whereby they are interested in tackling the global problems that are ignored by governments and other organizations.[95] As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were the second-most generous philanthropists in America, having given over US$28 billion to charity;[96] the couple plan to eventually donate 95 percent of their wealth to charity.[97]

On August 15, 2014, Bill Gates posted a video of himself dumping a bucket of ice water on his head, after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg challenged him to do so, in order to raise awareness for ALS.[98]

Personal Edit

Gates's wife urged people to learn a lesson from the philanthropic efforts of the Salwen family, which had sold its home and given away half of its value, as detailed in The Power of Half.[99] Gates and his wife invited Joan Salwen to Seattle to speak about what the family had done, and on December 9, 2010, Gates, investorWarren Buffett, and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg signed a commitment they called the "Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge." The pledge is a commitment by all three to donate at least half of their wealth over the course of time to charity.[100][101][102]

Gates has also provided personal donations to educational institutions. In 1999 Gates donated US$20 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the construction of a computer laboratory named the "William H. Gates Building" that was designed by architect Frank O. Gehry. While Microsoft had previously given financial support to the institution, this was the first personal donation received from Gates.[103]

The Maxwell Dworkin Laboratory of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is named after the mothers of both Gates and Microsoft President Steven A. Ballmer, both of whom were students (Ballmer was a member of the School's graduating class of 1977, while Gates left his studies for Microsoft), and donated funds for the laboratory's construction.[104] Gates also donated US$6 million to the construction of the Gates Computer Science Building, completed in January 1996, on the campus of Stanford University. The building contains the Computer Science Department (CSD) and the Computer Systems Laboratory (CSL) of Stanford's Engineering department.[105]

Criticism Edit

Further information: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation § Criticism

In 2007 the Los Angeles Times criticized the foundation for investing its assets in companies which have been accused of worsening poverty, polluting heavily, and pharmaceutical companies that do not sell into the developing world.[106] In response to press criticism, the foundation announced a review of its investments to assess social responsibility.[107] It subsequently canceled the review and stood by its policy of investing for maximum return, while using voting rights to influence company practices.[108] The Gates Millennium Scholars program has been criticized by Ernest W. Lefever for its exclusion of Caucasian students.[109] The scholarship program is administered by the United Negro College Fund.[110]

Recognition Edit

Gates and Steve Jobs at the 5thD: All Things Digital conference (D5) in 2007

In 1987 Gates was listed as a billionaire in Forbes magazine's 400 Richest People in America issue, just days before his 32nd birthday. As the world's youngest self-made billionaire, he was worth $1.25 billion, over $900 million more than he'd been worth the year before, when he'd debuted on the list.[111]

Time magazine named Gates one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th century, as well as one of the 100 most influential people of 2004, 2005, and 2006. Time also collectively named Gates, his wife Melinda and U2's lead singer Bonoas the 2005 Persons of the Year for their humanitarian efforts.[112] In 2006, he was voted eighth in the list of "Heroes of our time".[113] Gates was listed in the Sunday Times power list in 1999, named CEO of the year by Chief Executive Officers magazine in 1994, ranked number one in the "Top 50 Cyber Elite" by Time in 1998, ranked number two in the Upside Elite 100 in 1999 and was included in The Guardian as one of the "Top 100 influential people in media" in 2001.[114]

According to Forbes, Gates was ranked as the fourth most powerful person in the world in 2012,[115] up from fifth in 2011.[116]

In 1994, he was honored as the twentieth Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society. Gates has received honorary doctorates from Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Breukelen, The Netherlands, in 2000;[117] KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, in 2002;[118] Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, in 2005; Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in April 2007;[119] Harvard University in June 2007;[120] Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, in 2007,[121] and Cambridge University in June 2009.[122] He was also made an honorary trustee of Peking University in 2007.[123]

Gates was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005.[124] In November 2006, he was awarded the Placard of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, together with his wife Melinda who was awarded the Insignia of the same order, both for their philanthropic work around the world in the areas of health and education, particularly in Mexico, and specifically in the program "Un país de lectores".[125] Gates received the 2010 Bower Award for Business Leadership from The Franklin Institute for his achievements at Microsoft and his philanthropic work.[126] Also in 2010 he was honored with theSilver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America, its highest award for adults, for his service to youth.[127]

Entomologists named Bill Gates' flower fly, Eristalis gatesi, in his honor in 1997.[128]

In 2002, Bill and Melinda Gates received the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged.[129]

In 2006, Gates received the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award from The Tech Awards.[130]

Other business ventures and investments Edit

    • Cascade Investments LLC, a private investment and holding company, incorporated in United States, is controlled by Bill Gates, and is headquartered in the city of Kirkland, Washington.
    • bgC3, a new think-tank company founded by Bill Gates.
    • Corbis, a digital image licensing and rights services company.
    • TerraPower, a nuclear reactor design company.
    • Research Gate, a social networking site for scientists. Gates has invested $35 million in the site.

Books, films, and social media Edit

Books Edit

To date, Bill Gates has authored two books:

    • The Road Ahead, written with Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold and journalist Peter Rinearson, was published in November 1995. It summarized the implications of the personal computing revolution and described a future profoundly changed by the arrival of a global information superhighway.
    • Business @ the Speed of Thought was published in 1999, and discusses how business and technology are integrated, and shows how digital infrastructures and information networks can help getting an edge on the competition.

Documentaries Edit

    • Triumph of the Nerds (1996)
    • Nerds 2.0.1 (1998)
    • Waiting for "Superman" (2010) [131]
    • The Virtual Revolution (2010)

Feature films Edit

    • Pirates of Silicon Valley, a 1999 film which chronicles the rise of Apple and Microsoft from the early 1970s to 1997. Gates is portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall.
    • The Social Network, a 2010 film which chronicles the development of Facebook. Gates is portrayed by Steve Sires.[132]

Social media Edit

In 2013, Gates became a LinkedIn Influencer.[133]

See also Edit

Biography portal
Microsoft portal
    • Big History – academic discipline advocated by Bill Gates
    • List of billionaires
    • List of college dropout billionaires
    • List of wealthiest non-inflated historical figures
    • Paul Allen – Microsoft's co-founder, friend, and fellow billionaire
    • List of richest Americans in history

Notes Edit

    1. Jump up^ Gates regularly documents his share ownership through public U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission form 4 filings.[10][11]

References Edit

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    123. Jump up^ Blakely, Rhys (July 18, 2007). "Gates how piracy worked for me in China".The Times (London). Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. RetrievedApril 26, 2010.
    124. Jump up^ "Knighthood for Microsoft's Gates". BBC News. March 2, 2005. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
    125. Jump up^ "Proclamation of the Award". Diario Oficial de la Federación. Archived fromthe original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
    126. Jump up^ "Bower Award for Business Leadership". The Franklin Institute. 2010. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
    127. Jump up^ "2010 Silver Buffalo Recipients". Scouting: 39. September–October 2010.
    128. Jump up^ Thompson, F. Christian (August 19, 1999). "Bill Gates' Flower Fly Eristalis gatesi Thompson". The Diptera Site. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved February 18, 2008.
    129. Jump up^ National Winners | public service awards. Jefferson Awards.org. Retrieved on September 4, 2013.
    130. Jump up^ "The 2006 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award". The Tech Museum of Innovation. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
    131. Jump up^ "Bill Gates Goes to Sundance, Offers an Education". ABC News. January 23, 2010. Archived from the original on July 1, 2012.
    132. Jump up^ 'Bogus Bill' has a blast playing billionaire in 'The Social Network'
    133. Jump up^ Wills, Amanda. "Bill Gates Joins LinkedIn", Mashable, New York, June 13, 2013. Retrieved on July 30, 2013.

Bibliography Edit

    • Fridson, Martin (2001), How to Be a Billionaire: Proven Strategies from the Titans of Wealth, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0-471-41617-7
    • Gates, Bill (1996), The Road Ahead, Penguin Books, ISBN 0-14-026040-4
    • Lesinski, Jeanne M. (2006), Bill Gates (biography), A&E Television Networks, ISBN 0-8225-7027-0
    • Manes, Stephen (1994), Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry and Made Himself The Richest Man in America, Touchstone Pictures, ISBN 0-671-88074-8
    • Wallace, James (1993), Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the Making of the Microsoft Empire, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, ISBN 0-471-56886-4

Further reading Edit

    • Bank, David (2001). Breaking Windows: how Bill Gates fumbled the future of Microsoft. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-0315-1.
    • Rivlin, Gary (1999). The plot to get Bill Gates: an irreverent investigation of the world's richest man... and the people who hate him. New York: Times Business.ISBN 0-8129-3006-1.
    • "83 Reasons Why Bill Gates's Reign Is Over". Wired 6 (12). December 1998.
    • Kildall, Gary (October 25, 2004). "The Man Who Could Have Been Bill Gates". Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Retrieved June 9, 2010.
    • "The Meaning of Bill Gates: As his reign at Microsoft comes to an end, so does the era he dominated", The Economist, June 28, 2008.

External links Edit

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    • How I Work: Bill Gates, Fortune, March 30, 2006.
    • The Forbes 400, September 16, 2008.
Business positions
First CEO of Microsoft

1975–2000

Succeeded by

Steve Ballmer

First Chairman of Microsoft

1975–2014

Succeeded by

John W. Thompson

Honorary titles
Preceded by

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett
Carlos Slim

World's richest person

1996–2007
2009
2014

Succeeded by

Warren Buffett
Carlos Slim
Incumbent

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Authority control
  • WorldCat
  • VIAF: 102370574
  • LCCN: n91008414
  • ISNI: 0000 0001 0929 6053
  • GND: 119081199
  • SELIBR: 225416
  • SUDOC: 032108222
  • BNF:cb12057155q (data)
  • MusicBrainz: ef958680-aa07-48d2-8c81-4b9335a86bb9
  • NLA: 35309122
  • NDL: 00513394
  • NKC: jn20000601714

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