Bill Gates - Wikipedia

Bill Gates – Wikipedia

American businessman and philanthropist

William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American enterprise magnate, software program developer, investor, writer, and philanthropist. He is a co-founder of Microsoft, alongside along with his late childhood pal Paul Allen.[3] During his profession at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, chief government officer (CEO), president and chief software program architect, whereas additionally being the most important particular person shareholder till May 2014.[4] He was a significant entrepreneur of the microcomputer revolution of the Seventies and Eighties.

Gates was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. In 1975, he and Allen based Microsoft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It turned the world’s largest private pc software program firm.[5][a] Gates led the corporate as chairman and CEO till stepping down as CEO in January 2000, succeeded by Steve Ballmer, however he remained chairman of the board of administrators and have become chief software program architect.[8] During the late Nineteen Nineties, he was criticized for his enterprise techniques, which have been thought-about anti-competitive. This opinion has been upheld by quite a few court docket rulings. In June 2008, Gates transitioned to a part-time position at Microsoft and full-time work on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the personal charitable basis he and his then-wife, Melinda Gates, established in 2000.[10] He stepped down as chairman of the board of Microsoft in February 2014 and assumed a brand new publish as know-how adviser to help the newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella.[11] In March 2020, Gates left his board positions at Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway to concentrate on his philanthropic efforts together with local weather change, world well being and growth, and training.[12]

Since 1987, Gates has been included within the Forbes listing of the world’s wealthiest folks.[13][14] From 1995 to 2017, he held the Forbes title of the richest individual on this planet yearly besides from 2010 to 2013.[15] In October 2017, he was surpassed by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who had an estimated internet value of US$90.6 billion in comparison with Gates’s internet value of US$89.9 billion on the time.[16] As of December 2021, Gates had an estimated internet value of US$135 billion, making him the fourth-richest individual on this planet.[17]

Later in his profession and since leaving day-to-day operations at Microsoft in 2008, Gates has pursued many enterprise and philanthropic endeavors. He is the founder and chairman of a number of corporations, together with BEN, Cascade Investment, bgC3, and TerraPower. He has given sizable quantities of cash to numerous charitable organizations and scientific analysis packages via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reported to be the world’s largest personal charity.[18] Through the muse, he led an early twenty first century vaccination marketing campaign which considerably contributed to the eradication of the wild poliovirus in Africa.[19][20] In 2010, Gates and Warren Buffett based The Giving Pledge, whereby they and different billionaires pledge to provide at the least half of their wealth to philanthropy.[21]

Early life

Bill Gates was born in Seattle, Washington on October 28, 1955.[3] He is the son of William H. Gates Sr.[b] (1925–2020) and Mary Maxwell Gates (1929–1994).[22] His ancestry consists of English, German, and Irish/Scots-Irish.[23] His father was a outstanding lawyer, and his mom served on the board of administrators for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way of America. Gates’s maternal grandfather was J. W. Maxwell, a nationwide bank president. Gates has an older sister Kristi (Kristianne) and a youthful sister Libby. He is the fourth of his identify in his household however is called William Gates III or “Trey” (i.e., three) as a result of his father had the “II” suffix.[25] The household lived within the Sand Point space of Seattle in a house that was broken by a uncommon twister when Gates was seven years outdated.[26]

Early in his life, Gates noticed that his dad and mom wished him to pursue a regulation profession. When he was younger, his household usually attended a church of the Congregational Christian Churches, a Protestant Reformed denomination.[28][29][30] Gates was small for his age and was bullied as a toddler.[25] The household inspired competitors; one customer 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”.[31]

At 13, he enrolled within the personal Lakeside prep college,[33] the place he wrote his first software program program.[34] When he was within the eighth grade, the Mothers’ Club on the college used proceeds from Lakeside School’s rummage sale to purchase a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal and a block of pc time on a General Electric (GE) pc for the students. Gates took an curiosity in programming the GE system in BASIC, and he was excused from math lessons to pursue his curiosity. He wrote his first pc program on this machine, an implementation of tic-tac-toe that allowed customers to play video games towards the pc. Gates was fascinated by the machine and the way it might at all times execute software program code completely. After the Mothers Club donation was exhausted, Gates and different students sought time on programs together with DEC PDP minicomputers. One of those programs was a PDP-10 belonging to Computer Center Corporation (CCC) which banned Gates, Paul Allen, Ric Weiland, and Gates’s finest pal and first enterprise companion Kent Evans, for the summer time after it caught them exploiting bugs within the working system to acquire free pc time.[25]

The 4 students fashioned the Lakeside Programmers Club to earn a living.[25] At the top of the ban, they provided to seek out bugs in CCC’s software program in alternate for further pc time. Rather than utilizing the system remotely through Teletype, Gates went to CCC’s places of work and studied supply code for varied packages that ran on the system, together with Fortran, Lisp, and machine language. The association with CCC continued till 1970 when the corporate went out of enterprise.

The following yr, a Lakeside trainer enlisted Gates and Evans to automate the varsity’s class-scheduling system, offering them pc time and royalties in return. The duo labored diligently to be able to have this system prepared for his or her senior yr. Towards the top of their junior yr, Evans was killed in a mountaineering accident, which Gates has described as one of many saddest days of his life. Gates then turned to Allen who helped him end the system for Lakeside.[25]

At 17, Gates fashioned a enterprise with Allen referred to as Traf-O-Data to make visitors counters based mostly on the Intel 8008 processor. In 1972, he served as a congressional web page within the House of Representatives.[39][40] He was a National Merit Scholar when he graduated from Lakeside School in 1973.[41] He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and enrolled at Harvard College within the autumn of 1973.[42] He selected a pre-law main however took arithmetic and graduate stage pc science programs.[44] While at Harvard, he met fellow student Steve Ballmer. Gates left Harvard after two years whereas Ballmer stayed and graduated magna cum laude. Years later, Ballmer succeeded Gates as Microsoft’s CEO and maintained that place from 2000 till his resignation in 2014.[45][46]

Gates devised an algorithm for pancake sorting as an answer to one in all a sequence of unsolved issues[47] offered in a combinatorics class by professor Harry Lewis. His resolution held the document because the quickest model for over 30 years, and its successor is quicker by solely 2%.[47][48] His resolution was formalized and printed in collaboration with Harvard pc scientist Christos Papadimitriou.[49]

Gates remained in touch with Paul Allen and joined him at Honeywell throughout the summer time of 1974. In 1975, the MITS Altair 8800 was launched based mostly on the Intel 8080 CPU, and Gates and Allen noticed the chance to start out their very own pc software program firm. Gates dropped out of Harvard that very same yr. His dad and mom have been supportive of him after seeing how a lot he wished to start out his personal firm. He defined his resolution to go away Harvard: “if things hadn’t worked out, I could always go back to school. I was officially on leave.”[53]



MITS Altair 8800 Computer with 8-inch (200 mm) floppy disk system, of which the primary programming language for the machine was Microsoft’s founding product, the Altair BASIC

Gates learn the January 1975 situation of Popular Electronics which demonstrated the Altair 8800, and he contacted Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) to tell them that he and others have been engaged on a BASIC interpreter for the platform.[54] In actuality, Gates and Allen didn’t have an Altair and had not written code for it; they merely wished to gauge MITS’s curiosity. MITS president Ed Roberts agreed to satisfy them for an illustration, and over the course of some weeks they developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, after which the BASIC interpreter. The demonstration was held at MITS’s places of work in Albuquerque, New Mexico; it was successful and resulted in a cope with MITS to distribute the interpreter as Altair BASIC. MITS employed Allen,[55] and Gates took a depart of absence from Harvard to work with him at MITS in November 1975. Allen named their partnership “Micro-Soft”, a mix of “microcomputer” and “software”, and their first workplace was in Albuquerque. The first worker Gates and Allen employed was their highschool collaborator Ric Weiland.[55] They dropped the hyphen inside a yr and formally registered the commerce identify “Microsoft” with the Secretary of the State of New Mexico on November 26, 1976.[55] Gates by no means returned to Harvard to finish his research.

Microsoft’s Altair BASIC was fashionable with pc hobbyists, however Gates found {that a} pre-market copy had leaked out and was being broadly copied and distributed. In February 1976, he wrote an Open Letter to Hobbyists within the MITS e-newsletter through which he asserted that greater than 90% of the customers of Microsoft Altair BASIC had not paid Microsoft for it and the Altair “hobby market” was in peril of eliminating the motivation for any skilled builders to supply, distribute, and keep high-quality software program. This letter was unpopular with many pc hobbyists, however Gates continued in his perception that software program builders ought to be capable to demand cost. Microsoft turned impartial of MITS in late 1976, and it continued to develop programming language software program for varied programs.[55] The firm moved from Albuquerque to Bellevue, Washington on January 1, 1979.[54]

Gates mentioned he personally reviewed and sometimes rewrote each line of code that the corporate produced in its first 5 years. As the corporate grew, he transitioned right into a supervisor position, then an government.[57]

DONKEY.BAS, is a pc recreation written in 1981 and included with early variations of the PC DOS working system distributed with the unique IBM PC. It is a driving recreation through which the participant should keep away from hitting donkeys. The recreation was written by Gates and Neil Konzen.[58][59]

IBM partnership

IBM, the main provider of pc tools to business enterprises on the time, approached Microsoft in July 1980 regarding software program for its upcoming private pc, the IBM PC,[60] after Bill Gates’s mom, Mary Maxwell Gates, talked about Microsoft to John Opel, IBM’s CEO.[61] IBM first proposed that Microsoft write the BASIC interpreter. IBM’s representatives additionally talked about that they wanted an working system, and Gates referred them to Digital Research (DRI), makers of the broadly used CP/M working system.[62] IBM’s discussions with Digital Research went poorly, nevertheless, and they didn’t attain a licensing settlement. IBM consultant Jack Sams talked about the licensing difficulties throughout a subsequent assembly with Gates and requested if Microsoft might present an working system. Just a few weeks later, Gates and Allen proposed utilizing 86-DOS, an working system much like CP/M, that Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products (SCP) had made for {hardware} much like the PC.[63] Microsoft made a cope with SCP to be the unique licensing agent of 86-DOS, and later the complete proprietor. Microsoft employed Paterson to adapt the working system for the PC[64] and delivered it to IBM as PC DOS for a one-time charge of $50,000.

The contract itself solely earned Microsoft a comparatively small charge. It was the status dropped at Microsoft by IBM’s adoption of their working system that might be the origin of Microsoft’s transformation from a small enterprise to the main software program firm on this planet. Gates had not provided to switch the copyright on the working system to IBM as a result of he believed that different private pc makers would clone IBM’s PC {hardware}. They did, making the IBM-compatible PC, operating DOS, a de facto commonplace. The gross sales of MS-DOS (the model of DOS offered to clients apart from IBM) made Microsoft a significant participant within the business. The press rapidly recognized Microsoft as being very influential on the IBM PC. PC Magazine requested if Gates was “the man behind the machine?”.[60]

Gates oversaw Microsoft’s firm restructuring on June 25, 1981, which re-incorporated the corporate in Washington state and made Gates the president and chairman of the board, with Paul Allen as vp and vice chairman. In early 1983, Allen left the corporate after receiving a Hodgkin lymphoma analysis, successfully ending the formal enterprise partnership between Gates and Allen, which had been strained months prior resulting from a contentious dispute over Microsoft fairness.[54][67] Later within the decade, Gates repaired his relationship with Allen and collectively the 2 donated thousands and thousands to their childhood college Lakeside.[25] They remained pals till Allen’s demise in October 2018.[68]


Microsoft and Gates launched their first retail model of Microsoft Windows on November 20, 1985, in an try and fend off competitors from Apple’s Macintosh GUI, which had bewitched shoppers with its simplicity and ease of use.[69] In August of the next yr, the corporate struck a cope with IBM to develop a separate working system referred to as OS/2. Although the 2 corporations efficiently developed the primary model of the brand new system, the partnership deteriorated resulting from mounting inventive variations.[70] The working system grew out of DOS in an natural trend over a decade, till with Windows 95 the DOS textual content display was relegated to the closet. Windows XP, launched one yr after Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO, reportedly was the primary to not be based mostly on DOS.[71]Windows 8.1 was the final model of the OS launched earlier than Gates left the chair of the agency to John W. Thompson on February 5, 2014.[72] As of 2021, the most recent launch of the OS is called Windows 11.

Management model

Gates had major accountability for Microsoft’s product technique from the corporate’s founding from 1975 till 2006. He gained a repute for being distant from others; an business government complained in 1981 that “Gates is notorious for not being reachable by phone and for not returning phone calls.”[73] An Atari government recalled that he confirmed Gates a recreation and defeated him 35 of 37 instances. When they met once more a month later, Gates “won or tied every game. He had studied the game until he solved it. That is a competitor”.[74]

In the early Eighties, whereas enterprise companion Paul Allen was present process remedies for most cancers, Gates — based on Allen — conspired to cut back Allen’s share in Microsoft by issuing himself inventory choices.[75][76][77] In his autobiography, Allen would later recall that Gates was “scheming to rip me off. It was mercenary opportunism plain and simple”.[75] Gates says he remembers the episode in another way.[76] Allen would additionally recall that Gates was susceptible to shouting episodes.[77]

Gates met usually with Microsoft’s senior managers and program managers, and the managers described him as being verbally combative. He additionally berated them for perceived holes of their enterprise methods or proposals that positioned the corporate’s long-term pursuits in danger.[78][79] He interrupted shows with such feedback as “that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard”[80] and “why don’t you just give up your options and join the Peace Corps?”[81] The goal of his outburst would then must defend the proposal intimately till Gates was absolutely satisfied.[80] When subordinates gave the impression to be procrastinating, he was identified to comment sarcastically, “I’ll do it over the weekend.”[82][83][84] Gates has been accused of bullying Microsoft workers.[85]

During Microsoft’s early years, Gates was an energetic software program developer, significantly within the firm’s programming language merchandise, however his major position in many of the firm’s historical past was as a supervisor and government. He has not formally been on a growth staff since engaged on the TRS-80 Model 100,[86] however he wrote code that shipped with the corporate’s merchandise as late as 1989.[83]Jerry Pournelle wrote in 1985 when Gates introduced Microsoft Excel: “Bill Gates likes the program, not because it’s going to make him a lot of money (although I’m sure it will do that), but because it’s a neat hack.”[87]

On June 15, 2006, Gates introduced that he would transition out of his position at Microsoft to dedicate extra time to philanthropy. He step by step divided his tasks between two successors when he positioned Ray Ozzie in command of administration and Craig Mundie in command of long-term product technique.[88] The course of took two years to completely switch his duties to Ozzie and Mundie, and was accomplished on June 27, 2008.[89]

Antitrust litigation

Gates giving his deposition at Microsoft on August 27, 1998

Gates accredited of many choices that led to antitrust litigation over Microsoft’s enterprise practices. In the 1998 United States v. Microsoft case, Gates gave deposition testimony that a number of journalists characterised as evasive. He argued with examiner David Boies over the contextual which means of phrases corresponding to “compete”, “concerned”, and “we”. Later within the yr, when parts of the videotaped deposition have been performed again in court docket, the choose was seen laughing and shaking his head.[90]BusinessWeek reported:

Early rounds of his deposition present him providing obfuscatory solutions and saying “I don’t recall” so many instances that even the presiding choose needed to chuckle. Worse, lots of the know-how chief’s denials and pleas of ignorance have been immediately refuted by prosecutors with snippets of e-mail that Gates each despatched and obtained.[91]

Gates later mentioned that he had merely resisted makes an attempt by Boies to mischaracterize his phrases and actions. “Did I fence with Boies? … I plead guilty … rudeness to Boies in the first degree.”[92] Despite Gates’s denials, the choose dominated that Microsoft had dedicated monopolization, tying and blocking competitors, every in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.[92]


Since leaving day-to-day operations at Microsoft, Gates has continued his philanthropy and works on different initiatives.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Gates was the world’s highest-earning billionaire in 2013, as his internet value elevated by US$15.8 billion to US$78.5 billion. As of January 2014, most of Gates’s belongings are held in Cascade Investment LLC, an entity via which he owns stakes in quite a few companies, together with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and Corbis Corp.[93] On February 4, 2014, Gates stepped down as chairman of Microsoft to turn out to be “technology advisor” on the agency, alongside CEO Satya Nadella.[11][94]

Gates supplied his perspective on a variety of points in a considerable interview that was printed within the March 27, 2014 situation of Rolling Stone journal. In the interview, Gates supplied his perspective on local weather change, his charitable actions, varied tech corporations and other people concerned in them, and the state of America. In response to a query about his best concern when he seems to be 50 years into the longer term, Gates said: “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 additionally recognized innovation because the “real driver of progress” and pronounced that “America’s way better today than it’s ever been.”[95]

Gates has expressed concern in regards to the potential harms of superintelligence; in a Reddit “ask me anything”, he said that:

First the machines will do loads of jobs for us and never be tremendous clever. That needs to be optimistic if we handle it nicely. Just a few many years after that although the intelligence is robust sufficient to be a priority. I agree with Elon Musk and a few others on this and do not perceive why some individuals are not involved.[96][97][98][99]

In an interview that was held on the TED convention in March 2015, with Baidu’s CEO, Robin Li, Gates mentioned he would “highly recommend” Nick Bostrom’s latest work, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies.[100] During the convention, Gates warned that the world was not ready for the following pandemic, a state of affairs that might come to go in late 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic started.[101] In March 2018, Gates met at his house in Seattle with Mohammed bin Salman, the reformist crown prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia to debate funding alternatives for Saudi Vision 2030.[102][103] In June 2019, Gates admitted that shedding the cellular working system race to Android was his largest mistake. He said that it was inside their talent set of being the dominant participant, however partially blames the antitrust litigation throughout the time.[104] That similar yr, Gates turned an advisory board member of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum.[105]

On March 13, 2020, Microsoft introduced Gates can be leaving his board positions at Berkshire Hathaway and Microsoft to dedicate his efforts in philanthropic endeavors corresponding to local weather change, world well being and growth, and training.[12]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gates has broadly been checked out by media shops as an professional on the problem, regardless of him not being a public official or having any prior medical coaching.[106] His basis did, nevertheless, set up the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator in 2020 to hasten the event and analysis of recent and repurposed medicine and biologics to deal with sufferers for COVID-19,[107] and, as of February 2021, Gates expressed that he and Anthony Fauci regularly discuss and collaborate on issues together with vaccines and different medical improvements to struggle the pandemic.[108]

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Business ventures and investments (partial listing)

Gates has a multi-billion greenback funding portfolio with stake in varied sectors[109] and has participated in a number of entrepreneurial ventures past Microsoft, together with:

  • AutoNation, automotive retailer that Gates has a 16% stake in buying and selling on the NYSE.[citation needed]
  • bgC3 LLC, a think-tank and analysis firm based by Gates.[citation needed]
  • Canadian National Railway (CN), a Canadian Class I freight railway. As of 2019, Gates is the most important single shareholder of CN inventory.[110]
  • Cascade Investment LLC, a non-public funding and holding firm included within the United States, based and managed by Gates and headquartered in Kirkland, Washington.[citation needed]
    • Gates is the highest personal proprietor of farmland within the United States with landholdings owned through Cascade Investment totalling 242,000 acres throughout 19 states.[111][112] He is the forty ninth largest personal proprietor of land within the US.[113]
  • Carbon Engineering, a for-profit enterprise based by David Keith, which Gates helped fund.[114][115][116] It’s can also be supported by Chevron Corporation and Occidental Petroleum.[117]
  • Corbis (initially named Interactive Home Systems and now often called Branded Entertainment Network), a digital picture licensing and rights companies firm based and chaired by Gates.[119]
  • EarthNow, Seattle-based startup firm aiming to blanket the Earth with dwell satellite tv for pc video protection. Gates is a big monetary backer.[120]
  • Eclipse Aviation, a defunct producer of very mild jets. Gates was a significant stake-holder early on within the challenge.[citation needed]
  • Impossible Foods, an organization that develops plant-based substitutes for meat merchandise. Some of the $396 million Patrick O. Brown collected for his enterprise got here from Gates round 2014 to 2017.[121][122][123]
  • Ecolab, world supplier of water, hygiene and vitality applied sciences and companies to the meals, vitality, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets. Combined with the shares owned by the Foundation, Gates owns 11.6% of the corporate. A shareholder settlement in 2012 allowed him to come clean with 25% of the corporate, however this settlement was eliminated.[124]
  • ResearchGate, a social networking website for scientists. Gates participated in a $35 million spherical of financing together with different traders.[125]
  • TerraPower, a nuclear reactor design firm co-founded and chaired by Gates, which is growing subsequent era traveling-wave reactor nuclear energy crops in an effort to sort out local weather change.[126][127][128][129][130]
  • Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a closed fund for rich people who search ROI on a 20-year horizon (see subsequent part), which “is funding green start-ups and a host of other low-carbon entrepreneurial projects, including everything from advanced nuclear technology to synthetic breast milk.” It was based by Gates in 2015.[131]
  • Ginkgo Bioworks, a biotech startup that obtained $350 million in enterprise funding in 2019, partially from Gates’s funding agency Cascade Investment.[132]
  • Luminous Computing, an organization that develops neuromorphic photonic built-in circuits for AI acceleration.
  • Mologic, British diagnostic know-how firm that Gates bought, together with the Soros Economic Development Fund, “which has developed 10-minute Covid lateral flow tests that it aims to make for as little as $1.”[133]

Climate change and vitality

Gates considers local weather change and world entry to vitality to be essential, interrelated points. He has urged governments and the personal sector to put money into analysis and growth to make clear, dependable vitality cheaper. Gates envisions {that a} breakthrough innovation in sustainable vitality know-how might drive down each greenhouse gasoline emissions and poverty, and produce financial advantages by stabilizing vitality costs.[134] In 2011, he mentioned: “If you gave me the choice between picking the next 10 presidents or ensuring that energy is environmentally friendly and a quarter as costly, I’d pick the energy thing.”[135]

In 2015, he wrote in regards to the problem of transitioning the world’s vitality system from one based mostly totally on fossil fuels to 1 based mostly on sustainable vitality sources. Global vitality transitions have traditionally taken many years. He wrote, “I believe we can make this transition faster, both because the pace of innovation is accelerating, and because we have never had such an urgent reason to move from one source of energy to another.”[136] This speedy transition, based on Gates, would rely upon elevated authorities funding for primary analysis and financially dangerous private-sector funding, to allow innovation in numerous areas corresponding to nuclear vitality, grid vitality storage to facilitate higher use of photo voltaic and wind vitality, and photo voltaic fuels.[137]

Gates spearheaded two initiatives that he introduced on the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. One was Mission Innovation, through which 20 nationwide governments pledged to double their spending on analysis and growth for carbon-free vitality in over 5 years’ time.[134] Another initiative was Breakthrough Energy, a gaggle of traders who agreed to fund high-risk startups in clear vitality applied sciences. Gates, who had already invested $1 billion of his personal cash in modern vitality startups, dedicated an extra $1 billion to Breakthrough Energy.[137] In December 2020, he referred to as for the U.S. federal authorities to create institutes for clear vitality analysis, analogous to the National Institutes of Health.[138] Gates has additionally urged wealthy nations to shift to 100% artificial beef industries to cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions from meals manufacturing.[139]

Gates has been criticised for holding a big stake in Signature Aviation, an organization that companies emissions-intensive personal jets.[140] In 2019, he started to divest from fossil fuels. He doesn’t anticipate divestment itself to have a lot sensible affect, however says that if his efforts to offer alternate options have been to fail, he wouldn’t wish to personally profit from a rise in fossil gasoline inventory costs.[141] After publishing his e book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, components of the local weather activist group criticized Gate’s strategy as technological solutionism.[142]

In June 2021, Gates’s firm TerraPower and Warren Buffett’s PacifiCorp introduced the primary Sodium nuclear reactor in Wyoming. Wyoming Governor Mike Gordon hailed the challenge as a step towards carbon-negative nuclear energy. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso additionally mentioned that it might enhance the state’s as soon as energetic uranium mining business.[143]

Political positions

Regulation of the software program business

In 1998, Gates rejected the necessity for regulation of the software program business in testimony earlier than the United States Senate.[144] During the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) investigation of Microsoft within the Nineteen Nineties, Gates was reportedly upset at Commissioner Dennis Yao for “float[ing] a line of hypothetical questions suggesting possible curbs on Microsoft’s growing monopoly power”. According to 1 supply:

Gates was vexed. “He started by calling Yao’s ideas socialistic,” remembers a supply acquainted with the July 15 assembly, “and as he got angrier and angrier and louder and louder, he got into calling them Communistic.[145]

Donald Trump Facebook ban

On February 18, 2021, after Facebook and Twitter had banned Donald Trump from their platforms on account of the 2020 United States presidential election which led to the 2021 United States Capitol assault, Gates mentioned a everlasting ban of Trump “would be a shame” and can be an “extreme measure”. He warned that it might trigger “polarization” if customers with totally different political beliefs divide up amongst varied social networks, and mentioned: “I don’t think banning somebody who actually did get a fair number of votes (in the presidential election) – well less than a majority – but I don’t think having him off forever would be that good.”[144]

Patents for COVID-19 vaccines

In April 2021, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Gates was criticized for suggesting that pharmaceutical corporations ought to maintain onto patents for COVID-19 vaccines. The criticism got here resulting from the potential of this stopping poorer nations from acquiring satisfactory vaccines. Tara Van Ho of the University of Essex said, “Gates speaks as if all the lives being lost in India are inevitable but eventually the West will help when in reality the US & UK are holding their feet on the neck of developing states by refusing to break [intellectual property rights] protections. It’s disgusting.”[146]


Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Gates studied the work of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, and donated a few of his Microsoft inventory in 1994 to create the “William H. Gates Foundation”. In 2000, Gates and his spouse mixed three household foundations and Gates donated inventory valued at $5 billion to create the charitable Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was recognized by the Funds for NGOs firm in 2013, because the world’s wealthiest charitable basis, with belongings reportedly valued at greater than $34.6 billion.[147][148] The basis permits benefactors to entry info that reveals how its cash is being spent, in contrast to different main charitable organizations such because the Wellcome Trust.[149][150] Gates, via his basis, additionally donated $20 million to Carnegie Mellon University for a brand new constructing to be named Gates Center for Computer Science which opened in 2009.[151][152]

Gates has credited the generosity and in depth philanthropy of David Rockefeller as a significant affect. Gates and his father met with Rockefeller a number of instances, and their charity work is partly modeled on the Rockefeller household’s philanthropic focus, whereby they’re enthusiastic about tackling the worldwide issues which are ignored by governments and different organizations.[153] As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates have been the second-most beneficiant philanthropists in America, having given over $28 billion to charity;[154] the couple plan to finally donate 95% of their wealth to charity.[155]

The basis is organized into 5 program areas: Global Development Division, Global Health Division, United States Division, and Global Policy & Advocacy Division. Among others, it helps a variety of public well being initiatives, granting support to struggle transmissible illnesses such AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, in addition to widespread vaccine packages to eradicate polio. It grants funds to studying institutes and libraries and helps scholarships at universities. The basis established a water, sanitation and hygiene program to offer sustainable sanitation companies in poor international locations.[156] Its agriculture division helps the International Rice Research Institute in growing Golden Rice, a genetically modified rice variant used to fight vitamin A deficiency.[157] The aim of the muse is to offer 120 million girls and women, within the poorest international locations, with high-quality contraceptive info and companies, with the longer-term aim of common entry to voluntary household planning.[158] In 2007, the Los Angeles Times criticized the muse for investing its belongings in corporations which were accused of worsening poverty, air pollution and pharmaceutical companies that don’t promote to growing international locations.[159] Although the muse introduced a evaluate of its investments to evaluate social accountability,[160] it was subsequently canceled and upheld its coverage of investing for optimum return, whereas utilizing voting rights to affect firm practices.[161]

Gates delivered his ideas in a fireplace chat moderated by journalist and information anchor Shereen Bhan nearly on the Singapore FinTech Festival on December 8, 2020, on the subject, “Building Infrastructure for Resilience: What the COVID-19 Response Can Teach Us About How to Scale Financial Inclusion”.[162]

Governments are there to suppose forward to dangerous issues that may occur. In the case of (the Covid-19) pandemic, not sufficient was carried out. We cannot overlook that one other pandemic will come and we’ll have to put money into being prepared in that, … whereas not forgetting that we weren’t ready and we’ll have to speculate – identical to having a fireplace division – some cash in an clever approach and truly simulate what may occur and be sure that we’re prepared for it.[162]

Gates favours the normalization of COVID-19 masks. In a November 2020 interview, he mentioned: “What are these, like, nudists? I mean, you know, we ask you to wear pants, and no American says, or very few Americans say, that that’s, like, some terrible thing.”[163]

Personal donations

Melinda Gates recommended that individuals ought to emulate the philanthropic efforts of the Salwen household, who offered their house and gave away half of its worth, as detailed of their e book, The Power of Half.[164] Gates and his spouse invited Joan Salwen to Seattle to discuss what the household had carried out, and on December 9, 2010, Bill and Melinda Gates and investor Warren Buffett every signed a dedication they referred to as the “Giving Pledge”, which is a dedication by all three to donate at the least half of their wealth, over the course of time, to charity.[165][166][167]

Gates has additionally supplied private donations to academic establishments. In 1999, Gates donated $20 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the development of a pc laboratory named the “William H. Gates Building” that was designed by architect Frank Gehry. While Microsoft had beforehand given monetary help to the establishment, this was the primary private donation obtained from Gates.[168]

The Maxwell Dworkin Laboratory of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is known as after the moms of each Gates and Microsoft President Steven A. Ballmer, each of whom have been students (Ballmer was a member of the varsity’s graduating class of 1977, whereas Gates left his research for Microsoft), and donated funds for the laboratory’s development.[169] Gates additionally donated $6 million to the development of the Gates Computer Science Building, accomplished in January 1996, on the campus of Stanford University. The constructing comprises the Computer Science Department and the Computer Systems Laboratory (CSL) of Stanford’s Engineering division.[170]

Since 2005, Gates and his basis have taken an curiosity in fixing world sanitation issues. For instance, they introduced the “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge”, which has obtained appreciable media curiosity.[171] To elevate consciousness for the subject of sanitation and potential options, Gates drank water that was “produced from human feces” in 2014 – it was produced from a sewage sludge remedy course of referred to as the Omni Processor.[172][173] In early 2015, he additionally appeared with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show and challenged him to see if he might style the distinction between this reclaimed water or bottled water.[174]

In November 2017, Gates mentioned he would give $50 million to the Dementia Discovery Fund, a enterprise capital fund that seeks remedy for Alzheimer’s illness. He additionally pledged an extra $50 million to start-up ventures working in Alzheimer’s analysis.[175] Bill and Melinda Gates have mentioned that they intend to go away their three youngsters $10 million every as their inheritance. With solely $30 million saved within the household, they’re anticipated to provide away about 99.96% of their wealth.[176] On August 25, 2018, Gates distributed $600,000 via his basis through UNICEF which helps flood affected victims in Kerala, India.[177]

Charity sports activities occasions

On April 29, 2017, Gates partnered with Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer in enjoying within the Match for Africa 4, a noncompetitive tennis match at a sold-out Key Arena in Seattle. The occasion was in help of the Roger Federer Foundation’s charity efforts in Africa.[178] Federer and Gates performed towards John Isner, the top-ranked American participant for a lot of this decade, and Mike McCready, the lead guitarist for Pearl Jam. The pair gained the match 6 video games to 4. Overall, they raised $2 million for kids in Africa.[179] The following yr, Gates and Federer returned to play within the Match for Africa 5 on March 5, 2018, at San Jose’s SAP Center. Their opponents have been Jack Sock, one of many high American gamers and a grand slam winner in doubles, and Savannah Guthrie, a co-anchor for NBC’s Today present. Gates and Federer recorded their second match victory collectively by a rating of 6–3 and the occasion raised over $2.5 million.[180]


Gates has written three books:

  • The Road Ahead, written with Microsoft government Nathan Myhrvold and journalist Peter Rinearson, was printed in November 1995. It summarized the implications of the non-public computing revolution and described a future profoundly modified by the arrival of a worldwide info superhighway.
  • Business @ the Speed of Thought was printed in 1999, and discusses how enterprise and know-how are built-in, and reveals how digital infrastructures and data networks will help to get an edge on the competitors.
  • How to Avoid a Climate Disaster (February 2021) presents what Gates discovered in over a decade of learning local weather change and investing in improvements to deal with local weather issues.[181]

Personal life

Gates is an avid reader, and the ceiling of his massive house library is engraved with a citation from The Great Gatsby.[182] He additionally enjoys bridge, tennis and golf.[183][184] His days are deliberate for him on a minute-by-minute foundation, equally to the U.S. president’s schedule.[185] Despite his wealth and in depth enterprise journey, Gates flew coach (financial system class) in business plane till 1997, when he purchased a non-public jet.[186]

Gates bought the Codex Leicester, a set of scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci, for US$30.8 million at an public sale in 1994.[187] In 1998, he reportedly paid $30 million for the unique 1885 maritime portray Lost on the Grand Banks, on the time a document value for an American portray.[188]

In 2016, he revealed that he was color-blind.[189]

Marriage and divorce

Gates married Melinda French on the Hawaiian Island of Lanai on January 1, 1994.[190] They met in 1987 after Melinda started working at Microsoft.[191] At the time of their marriage, Gates was given permission by Melinda to spend restricted time along with his ex-girlfriend, businesswoman Ann Winblad.[192] Bill and Melinda have three youngsters: Jennifer, Rory and Phoebe.[193] The household’s residence is an earth-sheltered mansion within the facet of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina, Washington. In 2009, property taxes on the mansion have been reported to be US$1.063 million, on a complete assessed worth of US$147.5 million.[194] The 66,000-square-foot (6,100 m2) property has a 60-foot (18 m) swimming pool with an underwater music system, in addition to a 2,500-square-foot (230 m2) gymnasium and a 1,000-square-foot (93 m2) eating room.[195] On May 3, 2021, the Gateses introduced that they had determined to divorce after 27 years of marriage and 34 years as a pair.[196] They mentioned they might maintain working collectively on charitable efforts.[196][197]The Wall Street Journal reported that Melinda had been assembly with divorce attorneys since 2019, citing interviews that recommended Bill’s ties with Jeffrey Epstein was at the least one in all her issues.[198] The divorce was finalized on August 2, 2021.[199]

Relationship with Jeffrey Epstein

A New York Times article reported that Gates’s relationship with convicted intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein began in 2011, only a few years after Epstein’s conviction, and continued for some years, together with a go to to Epstein’s home with Melinda within the fall of 2013, regardless of her declared discomfort.[200] Gates mentioned in 2011 about Epstein: “His lifestyle is very different and kind of intriguing although it would not work for me”.[201]

The depth of the friendship between Gates and Epstein is unclear. Gates usually commented about his relationship with Epstein that “I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him”.[202] However, Gates visited Epstein “many times, despite [Epstein’s] past”.[200] Gates took at the least one flight in 2013 in Epstein’s notorious Lolita Express plane.[200]

It was reported that Epstein and Gates “discussed the Gates Foundation and philanthropy”.[200] However, in an interview in 2019 Gates fully denied any connection between Epstein and the Gates Foundation or his philanthropy usually.[202] In August 2021, Gates mentioned the explanation he had conferences with Epstein was as a result of Gates hoped Epstein might present cash for philanthropic work, although nothing got here of the concept. Gates added, “It was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there.”[85]

It has additionally been reported that Epstein and Gates met with Nobel Committee chair Thorbjørn Jagland at his residence in Strasbourg, France in March 2013 to debate the Nobel Prize.[203][204] Also in attendance have been representatives of the International Peace Institute which has obtained thousands and thousands in grants from the Gates Foundation, together with a $2.5 million “community engagement” grant in October 2013.[205]

Public picture

Gates meets with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, February 2017

Gates’s public picture has modified over time. At first he was perceived as a superb however ruthless “robber baron”, a “nerd-turned-tycoon”.[206] Starting in 2000 with the muse of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and significantly after he stepped down as head of Microsoft, he turned his consideration to philanthropy, spending greater than $50 billion on causes like well being, poverty, and training. His picture morphed “from tyrannical technocrat to saintly savior”, a “huggable billionaire techno-philanthropist”, celebrated on journal covers and wanted for his opinions on main points like world well being and local weather change.[206] Still one other shift in public opinion got here in 2021 with the announcement that he and Melinda have been divorcing. Coverage of that continuing introduced out details about romantic pursuits of girls who labored for him, a long-term extra-marital affair, and a friendship with convicted little one intercourse trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.[201] This resulted in a big deterioration of his public picture. In June 2021, The New Republic portrayed Gates as an “oligarch” and as “just another creepy rich guy”.[207]


In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gates mentioned in regard to his religion: “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.”[208] In the identical 2014 interview he additionally mentioned: “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.”[208]

Wealth tallies

In 1999, his wealth briefly surpassed US$101 billion.[209][186] Since 2000, the nominal worth of his Microsoft holdings has declined resulting from a fall in Microsoft’s inventory value after the dot-com bubble burst and the multi-billion greenback donations he has made to his charitable foundations. In May 2006, Gates remarked that he wished that he weren’t the richest man on this planet as a result of he disliked the eye it introduced.[210] In March 2010, Gates was the second wealthiest individual after Carlos Slim, however regained the highest place in 2013, based on the Bloomberg Billionaires List.[211][212] Slim retook the place once more in June 2014[213][214] (however then misplaced the highest place again to Gates). Between 2009 and 2014, his wealth doubled from US$40 billion to greater than US$82 billion.[215] In October 2017, Gates was surpassed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos because the richest individual on this planet.[16] On November 15, 2019, he as soon as once more turned the richest individual on this planet after a 48% enhance in Microsoft shares, surpassing Bezos.[216] Gates instructed the BBC, “I’ve paid more tax than any individual ever, and gladly so … I’ve paid over $6 billion in taxes.”[217] He is a proponent of upper taxes, significantly for the wealthy.[218]

Gates has held the highest spot on the listing of The World’s Billionaires for 18 out of the previous 23 years.[219] Gates has a number of investments outdoors Microsoft, which in 2006 paid him a wage of US$616,667 and US$350,000 bonus totalling US$966,667.[220] In 1989, he based Corbis, a digital imaging firm. In 2004, he turned a director of Berkshire Hathaway, the funding firm headed by long-time pal Warren Buffett.[221]

In 1987, Gates was listed as a billionaire in Forbes journal’s 400 Richest People in America situation, value $1.25 billion on the time, and was the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.[14] Since 1987, Gates has been included within the Forbes The World’s Billionaires listing and was the wealthiest individual from 1995 to 1996,[222] 1998 to 2007, 2009, and held the spot till 2018 earlier than being overtaken by Jeff Bezos.[15] Gates was primary on the Forbes 400 listing from 1993 via to 2007, 2009, and 2014 via 2017.[223][224]


Bill and Melinda Gates being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2016
  • Time journal named Gates one of many 100 individuals who most affected the twentieth century, in addition to one of many 100 most influential folks of 2004, 2005, and 2006.[225]
  • Time additionally collectively named Gates, his spouse Melinda and U2’s lead singer Bono because the 2005 Persons of the Year for his or her humanitarian efforts.[226] In 2006, he was voted eighth within the listing of “Heroes of our time”.[227]
  • Gates was listed within the London Sunday Times energy listing in 1999, named CEO of the yr by Chief Executive Officers journal in 1994, ranked primary within the “Top 50 Cyber Elite” by Time in 1998, ranked quantity two within the Upside Elite 100 in 1999, and was included in The Guardian as one of many “Top 100 influential people in media” in 2001.[228]
  • Gates was elected Member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 1996 “for contributions to the founding and development of personal computing”.[229]
  • He was named Honorary Member of the American Library Association in 1998.[230]
  • He was elected a international member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2017.[231]
  • According to Forbes, Gates was ranked because the fourth strongest individual on this planet in 2012,[232] up from fifth in 2011.[233]
  • In 1994, he was honored because the twentieth Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society (DFBCS). In 1999, Gates obtained New York Institute of Technology’s President’s Medal.[234]
  • Gates has obtained honorary doctorates from Nyenrode Business Universiteit (2003),[235]KTH Royal Institute of Technology (2002),[236]Waseda University (2005),[237]Tsinghua University (2007),[238] Harvard University (2007),[239] the Karolinska Institute (2007),[240] and Cambridge University (2009).[241]
  • He was additionally made an honorary trustee of Peking University in 2007.[242]
  • Gates was made an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005.[243]
  • In January 2006, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry by the President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio
  • In November 2006, he was awarded the Placard of the Order of the Aztec Eagle, collectively along with his spouse Melinda who was awarded the Insignia of the identical order, each for his or her philanthropic work all over the world within the areas of well being and training, significantly in Mexico, and particularly in this system “Un país de lectores“.[244]
  • Gates obtained the 2010 Bower Award for Business Leadership from The Franklin Institute for his achievements at Microsoft and his philanthropic work.[245]
  • Also in 2010, he was honored with the Silver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America, its highest award for adults, for his service to youth.[246]
  • In 2002, Bill and Melinda Gates obtained the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged.[247]
  • He was given the 2006 James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award from the Tech Awards.[248]
  • In 2015, Gates and his spouse Melinda obtained the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award for his or her social work within the nation.[249][250]
  • Barack Obama honored Bill and Melinda Gates with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his or her philanthropic efforts in 2016,[251] and François Hollande awarded Bill and Melinda within the following yr with France’s highest nationwide order – as Commander of the Legion of Honour for his or her charity efforts.[252]
  • Entomologists named Bill Gates’ flower fly, Eristalis gatesi, in his honor in 1997.[253]
  • In 2021 Bill Gates was nominated on the eleventh annual Streamy Awards for the crossover for his private YouTube channel.[254]

Depiction in media

Documentary movies about Gates

Feature movies

Video and movie clips


Gates was the visitor on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs on January 31, 2016, through which he talked about his relationships along with his father and Steve Jobs, assembly Melinda Ann French, the beginning of Microsoft and a few of his habits (for instance studying The Economist “from cover to cover every week”). His alternative of issues to tackle a desert island have been, for music: “Blue Skies” by Willie Nelson; a e book: The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker; and luxurious merchandise: a DVD Collection of Lectures from The Teaching Company.[261]


Gates made a visitor look as himself on the TV present The Big Bang Theory. The episode on which he appeared was appropriately entitled “The Gates Excitation”.[262] He additionally appeared in a cameo position in 2019 on the sequence finale of Silicon Valley.[263] Gates visitor starred as himself in The Simpsons episode “Das Bus”.

See additionally


  1. ^ Gates usually paperwork his share possession via public U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission kind 4 filings.[6][7]
  2. ^ His father was named William H. Gates II, however he’s now commonly known as William H. Gates, Senior to keep away from confusion along with his son.


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Primary sources

  • Gates, Bill. “An exclusive interview with Bill Gates”. Financial Times 1 (2013). on-line
  • Gates, Bill. “Remarks of Bill Gates, Harvard Commencement 2007”. The Harvard Gazette 7 (2007). Online
  • Kinsley, Michael, and Conor Clarke, Eds. Creative Capitalism: A Conversation With Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Other Economic Leaders (Simon and Schuster, 2009).

Further studying

  • Leibovich, Mark. The New Imperialists (Prentice Hall, 2002) pp 139–182. on-line
  • Bank, David (2001). Breaking Windows: How Bill Gates Fumbled the Future of Microsoft. New York City: 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 City: Times Business. ISBN 0-8129-3006-1.
  • “83 Reasons Why Bill Gates’s Reign Is Over”. Wired. Vol. 6 no. 12. December 1998. Archived from the unique on August 22, 2010.
  • Kildall, Gary (October 25, 2004). “The Man Who Could Have Been Bill Gates”. Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Archived from the unique on April 4, 2006. 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.
  • Wallace, James. Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997).

External hyperlinks