Bill Gates

Bill Gates
Head and shoulders photo of Bill Gates
Gates in March 2018
William Henry Gates III

(1955-10-28) October 28, 1955 (age 63)
ResidenceXanadu 2.0, Medina, Washington
OccupationBusiness magnate, investor, author, programmer, philanthropist, humanitarian
Known forPrincipal founder of Microsoft
Net worthUS$100 billion (April 2019)[1]
Board member of
Melinda Gates (m. 1994)
Gates' signature

William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist, and humanitarian. He is best known as the principal founder of Microsoft Corporation.[2][3] During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO and chief software architect, while also being the largest individual shareholder until May 2014.

In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen launched Microsoft, which became the world's largest PC software company.[4][a] Gates led the company as chairman and CEO until stepping down as CEO in January 2000, but he remained chairman and became chief software architect.[7] In June 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning to a part-time role at Microsoft and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the private charitable foundation that he and his wife, Melinda Gates, established in 2000.[8] He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie.[9] He stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in February 2014 and assumed a new post as technology adviser to support the newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella.[10]

Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. He has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive. This opinion has been upheld by numerous court rulings.[11]

Since 1987, Gates has been included in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people, an index of the wealthiest documented individuals, excluding and ranking against those with wealth that is not able to be completely ascertained.[12][13] From 1995 to 2017, he held the Forbes title of the richest person in the world all but four of those years, and held it consistently from March 2014 to July 2017, with an estimated net worth of US$89.9 billion as of October 2017.[1] However, on July 27, 2017, and since October 27, 2017, he has been surpassed by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who had an estimated net worth of US$90.6 billion at the time.[14] As of August 6, 2018, Gates had a net worth of $95.4 billion, making him the second-richest person in the world, behind Bezos.

Later in his career and since leaving Microsoft, Gates pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors. He donated large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reported to be the world's largest private charity.[15] In 2009, Gates and Warren Buffett founded The Giving Pledge, whereby they and other billionaires pledge to give at least half of their wealth to philanthropy.[16] The foundation works to save lives and improve global health, and is working with Rotary International to eliminate polio.[17]

Early life

Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, on October 28, 1955. He is the son of William H. Gates Sr.[b] (b. 1925) and Mary Maxwell Gates (1929–1994). His ancestry includes English, German, Irish, and Scots-Irish.[18][19] His father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way. Gates' maternal grandfather was J. W. Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates has one older sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and a younger sister, Libby. He is the fourth of his name in his family, but is known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had the "II" suffix.[20] The family lived in the Sand Point area of Seattle in a home that was once damaged by a rare tornado when Gates was seven years old.[21] Early on in his life, Gates observed that his parents wanted him to pursue a law career.[22] When Gates was young, his family regularly attended a church of the Congregational Christian Churches, a Protestant Reformed denomination.[23][24][25] 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".[26]

At 13, he enrolled in the Lakeside School, a private preparatory school[27] and wrote his first software program.[28] When Gates 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.[29] 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."[30] 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-10 belonging 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.[31][32]

At the end of the ban, the four students offered to find bugs in CCC's software in exchange for extra computer time. Rather than use the system via Teletype[clarification needed], 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 student information system software to schedule students in classes. He modified the code so that he was placed in classes with "a disproportionate number of interesting girls."[33] He later stated that "it was hard to tear myself away from a machine at which I could so unambiguously demonstrate success."[30] At age 17, Gates formed a venture with Allen, called Traf-O-Data, to make traffic counters based on the Intel 8008 processor.[34] In 1972, Bill Gates served as a congressional page in the U.S. House of Representatives.[35][36]

Gates was a National Merit Scholar when he graduated from Lakeside School in 1973.[37] He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973.[38][39] He chose a pre-law major but took mathematics and graduate level computer science courses.[40] While at Harvard, he met fellow student Steve Ballmer. Gates left Harvard after two years while Ballmer would stay and graduate magna cum laude. Years later, Ballmer succeeded Gates as Microsoft's CEO. He maintained that position from 2000 until his resignation from the company in 2014.[41]

Mugshots of 22-year-old Gates following his 1977 arrest for a traffic violation in Albuquerque, New Mexico

In his second year, Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as a solution to one of a series of unsolved problems[42] presented in a combinatorics class by Harry Lewis, one of his professors. Gates' solution held the record as the fastest version for over thirty years;[42][43] its successor is faster by only one percent.[42] His solution was later formalized in a published paper in collaboration with Harvard computer scientist Christos Papadimitriou.[44]

Gates did not have a definite study plan while he was a student at Harvard,[45] and he 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.[46] The MITS Altair 8800 was released the following year. The new computer was based on the Intel 8080 CPU, and Gates and Allen saw this as the opportunity to start their own computer software company.[47] Gates dropped out of Harvard at this time. He had talked over this decision with his parents, who were supportive of him after seeing how much their son wanted to start his own company.[45] Gates explained his decision to leave Harvard, saying "... if things [at Microsoft] hadn't worked out, I could always go back to school. I was officially on [a] leave [of absence]."[48]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Bill Gates
Alemannisch: Bill Gates
አማርኛ: ቢል ጌትስ
Ænglisc: Bill Gates
العربية: بيل غيتس
aragonés: Bill Gates
asturianu: Bill Gates
azərbaycanca: Bill Geyts
تۆرکجه: بیل قئیتس
বাংলা: বিল গেটস
Bahasa Banjar: Bill Gates
Bân-lâm-gú: Bill Gates
Basa Banyumasan: Bill Gates
башҡортса: Билл Гейтс
беларуская: Біл Гейтс
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Біл Гейтс
Bikol Central: Bill Gates
Bislama: Bill Gates
български: Бил Гейтс
Boarisch: Bill Gates
bosanski: Bill Gates
brezhoneg: Bill Gates
català: Bill Gates
Чӑвашла: Билл Гейтс
čeština: Bill Gates
Cymraeg: Bill Gates
dansk: Bill Gates
Deutsch: Bill Gates
डोटेली: बिल गेट्स
eesti: Bill Gates
Ελληνικά: Μπιλ Γκέιτς
español: Bill Gates
Esperanto: Bill Gates
estremeñu: Bill Gates
euskara: Bill Gates
فارسی: بیل گیتس
føroyskt: Bill Gates
français: Bill Gates
Frysk: Bill Gates
Gaeilge: Bill Gates
Gàidhlig: Bill Gates
galego: Bill Gates
Gĩkũyũ: Bill Gates
ગુજરાતી: બિલ ગેટ્સ
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Bill Gates
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Bill Gates
한국어: 빌 게이츠
հայերեն: Բիլ Գեյթս
Արեւմտահայերէն: Պիլ Կէյթս
हिन्दी: बिल गेट्स
hrvatski: Bill Gates
Ilokano: Bill Gates
Bahasa Indonesia: Bill Gates
interlingua: Bill Gates
íslenska: Bill Gates
italiano: Bill Gates
עברית: ביל גייטס
Kapampangan: Bill Gates
ქართული: ბილ გეიტსი
қазақша: Билл Гейтс
Kiswahili: Bill Gates
kurdî: Bill Gates
Кыргызча: Билл Гейтс
latviešu: Bills Geitss
Lëtzebuergesch: Bill Gates
lietuvių: Bill Gates
Ligure: Bill Gates
Limburgs: Bill Gates
Lingua Franca Nova: Bill Gates
la .lojban.: bil. geits
lumbaart: Bill Gates
magyar: Bill Gates
मैथिली: बिल गेट्स
македонски: Бил Гејтс
Malagasy: Bill Gates
Malti: Bill Gates
मराठी: बिल गेट्स
მარგალური: ბილ გეიტსი
مصرى: بيل جيتس
مازِرونی: بیل گیتس
Bahasa Melayu: Bill Gates
Mirandés: Bill Gates
монгол: Билл Гэйтс
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ဘီလ် ဂိတ်
Nāhuatl: Bill Gates
Nederlands: Bill Gates
नेपाली: बिल गेट्स
नेपाल भाषा: बिल गेत्स
norsk: Bill Gates
norsk nynorsk: Bill Gates
occitan: Bill Gates
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Bill Gates
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਬਿਲ ਗੇਟਸ
پنجابی: بل گیٹس
پښتو: بیل ګیټ
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ប៊ីល ហ្គេត
Plattdüütsch: Bill Gates
polski: Bill Gates
português: Bill Gates
Qaraqalpaqsha: Bill Gates
română: Bill Gates
Runa Simi: Bill Gates
русский: Гейтс, Билл
саха тыла: Билл Гейтс
संस्कृतम्: बिल गेट्स
sardu: Bill Gates
Scots: Bill Gates
shqip: Bill Gates
sicilianu: Bill Gates
Simple English: Bill Gates
slovenčina: Bill Gates
slovenščina: Bill Gates
ślůnski: Bill Gates
Soomaaliga: Bill Gates
کوردی: بیل گەیتس
српски / srpski: Бил Гејтс
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Bill Gates
suomi: Bill Gates
svenska: Bill Gates
Tagalog: Bill Gates
Taqbaylit: Bill Gates
татарча/tatarça: Билл Гейтс
тоҷикӣ: Билл Гейтс
Türkçe: Bill Gates
Türkmençe: Bill Geýts
українська: Білл Гейтс
اردو: بل گیٹس
vèneto: Bill Gates
Tiếng Việt: Bill Gates
Winaray: Bill Gates
ייִדיש: ביל גייטס
Yorùbá: Bill Gates
粵語: 比爾蓋茨
žemaitėška: Bils Geitsos