American business magnate
Born: October 28, 1955, Seattle, Washington, United States
Net worth: 89.8 billion USD (2017) Forbes
Spouse: Melinda Gates (m. 1994)
Children: Jennifer Katharine Gates, Rory John Gates, Phoebe Adele Gates
Education: Harvard College (1973–1975), Lakeside School (1967–1973)
William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is the co-founder of Microsoft and is an American business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist.
In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, which became the world’s largest PC software company. 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. Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000, but 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 and Craig Mundie. He stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in February 2014, taking on a new post as technology adviser to support the then newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella.
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, an opinion that has in some cases been upheld by numerous court rulings. Later in his career, Gates 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.
Since 1987, Gates has been included in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people. As of May 2017, Gates is the richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of US$88.5 billion. 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.
Gates was born in Seattle, Washington on October 28, 1955. He is the son of William H. Gates Sr. (born 1925) and Mary Maxwell Gates (1929–1994). His ancestry includes English, German, Irish, and Scots-Irish. 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 JW Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates has one elder sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one 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. Early on in his life, Gates’ parents had a law career in mind for him. When Gates was young, his family regularly attended a church of the Congregational Christian Churches, a Protestant Reformed denomination. 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”.
The Poker Room in Currier House at Harvard College
At 13, he enrolled in the Lakeside School, a private preparatory school. 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. 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.” 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.