BILL GATES BIOGRAPHY POSITIVE THINGS

Biography of Bill Gates







William Henry Gates was born on 28 October 1955, in Seattle, Washington. As the principal founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates is one of the most influential and richest people on the planet. Recent estimates of his wealth put it at US$84.2 billion (Jan. 2017); this is the equivalent of the combined GDP of several African economies. In recent years he has retired from working full time at Microsoft, and has instead concentrated on working with his charitable foundation “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

Early life of Bill Gates

His father William Gates Sr was a senior lawyer, and his mother, Mary, served as an executive for a major bank. The family were wealthy but, remembering the challenges of the Great Depression, they encouraged their children to work hard and take nothing for granted.

Aged 13, Gates attended the private Lakeside school. It was here that Gates had his first introduction to computers. He taught himself to programme in Basic, making a simple ‘Tic-Tac-Toe’ game. Gates enjoyed the process of working with computers and arranged with a company Computer Center Corporation (CCC) to spend time on their computers – learning source code, such as Fortran, Machine Code and Lisp.

In 1973, Gates enrolled at Harvard, where he studied mathematics and computer science. However, Gates was more interested in pursuing his own coding, and when he saw an opportunity to found his own company, he dropped out of Harvard without finishing his course.

Bill Gates foundation of Microsoft

Altair 8800 computer

Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1976 when he formed a contract with MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) to develop a basic operating system for their new microcomputers. In the early days, Bill Gates would review every line of code. He was also involved in several aspects of Microsoft’s business such as packing and sending off orders.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1981

The big break for Microsoft came in 1980 when IBM approached them for a new BASIC operating system for its new computers. In the early 1980s, IBM was by far the leading PC manufacturer. However, increasingly, there developed many IBM PC clones; (PCs produced by other companies compatible with IBM’s). Microsoft worked hard to sell its operating system to these other companies. Thus Microsoft was able to gain the dominant position of software manufacture just as the personal computer market started to boom. Since its early dominance, other companies have struggled to displace Microsoft as the dominant provider of computer operating software. Programs like Microsoft Word and Excel have become the industry standard.

Bill Gates – Windows

In 1990 Microsoft released its first version of Windows. This was a breakthrough in operating software as it replaced text interfaces with graphical interfaces. It soon became a best seller and was able to capture the majority of the operating system market share. In 1995 Windows 95 was released, setting new standards and features for operating systems. This version of Windows has been the backbone of all future releases from Windows 2000 to the latest XP and Vista.

Throughout his time in office, Bill Gates has been keen to diversify the business of Microsoft. For example, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer became the dominant web browser, although this was primarily because it came pre-installed on most new computers. In recent years, Internet Explorer has seen its market share slip.

One area where Microsoft has never been successful is in the area of search engines. MSN live search has struggled to gain more than 5% of market share. In this respect, Microsoft has been dwarfed by Google. Nevertheless, the success of Microsoft in cornering various aspects of the software market has led to several anti-trust cases. In 1998 US v Microsoft, Microsoft came close to being broken up into three smaller firms. However, on appeal, Microsoft was able to survive as a single firm. Although Microsoft was the dominant computer firm of the 1980s, and 1990s, they are now seen as an ageing and declining company – compared to the more dynamic Google and Apple.

Philanthropic Activities – Bill Gates

Bill Gates is married to Melinda French (married in 1992). They have three children Jennifer (1996), Rory (1999) and Phoebe (2002). With his wife, Bill Gates formed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates says much of the inspiration came from the example of David Rockefeller. Like Rockefeller, Gates has sought to focus on global issues ignored by the government; he also expressed an interest in improving the standards of public school education in the US. He has appeared with Oprah Winfrey to promote this objective. In respect to charitable, philanthropic activities Gates has also received encouragement from investor Warren Buffet, who has given away $17 billion, through the Gates Foundation.

From 2008 Gates has worked full time on his philanthropic interests. It is estimated Gates and his wife Melinda have given away $28 billion via their charitable foundation – including $8 billion to improve global health.

Gates has said that he has no use for money, and will only leave a small percentage of his wealth to his children. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Gates states:

“I’m certainly well taken care of in terms of food and clothes,” he says, redundantly. “Money has no utility to me beyond a certain point. Its utility is entirely in building an organisation and getting the resources out to the poorest in the world.” (1)


His main areas of interest in philanthropy have been improving health, and in particular helping to reduce diseases, such as polio which affect young children. He has also given more focus to environmental issues. In 2015, he gave $1 billion to a clean energy project, as he sees supporting new ‘greener’ technologies as a way to help deal with global warming. Asked about the motivation of his giving, Gates replies:

“It doesn’t relate to any particular religion; it’s about human dignity and equality,” he says. “The golden rule that all lives have equal value and we should treat people as we would like to be treated.”




Personal life

Gates and his wife Melinda, June 2009

Gates married Melinda French on a golf course on the Hawaiian island of Lanai on January 1, 1994; he was 38 and she was 29. They have three children: Jennifer Katharine (b. 1996), Rory John (b. 1999), and Phoebe Adele (b. 2002). Gates' oldest daughter Jennifer is an equestrian rider who competed in the 2018 Longines Global Champions Tour.[146] The family resides in a modern design mansion, which is an earth-sheltered house in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina near Seattle in Washington stateUnited States. According to 2007 King County public records, the total assessed value of the property (land and house) is $125 million, and the annual property taxes are $991,000. The 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.[147]

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gates stated in regard to his faith:

The moral systems of religion, I think, are super important. We've raised our kids in a religious way; they've gone to the Catholic church that Melinda goes to and I participate in. I've been very lucky, and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that's kind of a religious belief. I mean, it's at least a moral belief.[148]

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.[148]

Gates purchased the Codex Leicester, a collection of scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci, for $30.8 million at an auction in 1994.[149] Gates is an avid reader, and the ceiling of his large home library is engraved with a quotation from The Great Gatsby.[150]He also enjoys playing bridge, tennis, and golf.[151][152]

In 1999, his wealth briefly surpassed $101 billion.[153] Despite his wealth and extensive business travel, Gates usually flew coach in commercial aircraft until 1997, when he bought a private jet.[154] 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 multibillion-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.[155] 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.[156][157] Carlos Slim retook the position again in June 2014[158][159] (but then lost the top position back to Gates). Between 2009 and 2014, his wealth doubled from US$40 billion to more than US$82 billion.[160]Since October 2017, Gates was surpassed by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world.[14]

Bill Gates has held the top spot on the list of The World's Billionaires for 18 out of the past 23 years.[161]

Gates has several investments outside Microsoft, which in 2006 paid him a salary of $616,667 and $350,000 bonus totalling $966,667.[162] In 1989, he founded Corbis, a digital imaging company. In 2004, he became a director of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company headed by long-time friend Warren Buffett.[163] In 2016, he was discussing his gaming habits when he revealed that he was color-blind.[164]

In a BBC interview, Gates claimed "I've paid more tax than any individual ever, and gladly so... I've paid over $6 billion in taxes."[165] He is a proponent of higher taxes, particularly for the rich.[166] Gates' days are planned for him, similar to the US President's schedule, on a minute-by-minute basis.[167]

External business ventures and investments

  • Cascade Investments LLC, a private investment and holding company incorporated in the United States, controlled by Bill Gates and headquartered in Kirkland, Washington.
  • bgC3, a new think-tank company founded by Gates.
  • Corbis, a digital image licensing and rights services company.
  • TerraPower, a nuclear reactor design company.
  • Eclipse Aviation, a defunct manufacturer of very light jets. Gates was a major stake-holder early on in the project.
  • ResearchGate, a social networking site for scientists. Gates participated in a $35 million round of financing along with other investors.[168]






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