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Gates in March 2018
William Henry Gates III
October 28, 1955
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Occupation||Business magnate, investor, author, programmer, philanthropist, humanitarian|
|Known for||Principal founder of Microsoft|
|Net worth||US$108.4 billion (December 2019)|
|Board member of|
Melinda Gates (m. 1994)
William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955), is an American businessman and the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft. He is the third-richest person in the world behind Jeff Bezos in net worth as of December 2019.
Early life[change | change source]
William Henry Gates III was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington, U.S. He has British and German ancestry. His father William H. Gates, Sr. was a lawyer. His mother Mary Maxwell Gates served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way. His parents wanted him to be a lawyer. At the age of 13, Bill went to Lakeside High School.
College career and the Founding of Microsoft[change | change source]
He was a freshman at Harvard University in 1973. He left Harvard to make software. Bill Gates saw an opportunity to transform the personal computer, which was expensive and difficult to use. He decided that computers could be made less expensive and easier to use. Gates started Microsoft in 1975 with Paul Allen in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gates then went on to develop the Windows operating system, which at first wasn't well received but with time became the most used operating system in the world.
Retirement, philanthropy and charity work[change | change source]
In 2006, Gates announced he was going to quit his job at Microsoft. This was so he could do more charity work with his wife, Melinda. Their charity is called the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates' philanthropy projects have included vaccination of children in sub-Saharan Africa, scholarship programs in the United States, and a mission to help organize other billionaires to redistribute their wealth. He likes to give money and support to human rights, education and technological innovation.
Gates stepped down from his CEO position in Microsoft in 1998 and Steve Ballmer did the job instead. On June 16, 2007, Microsoft said that Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, will come in on a day-to-day schedule to continue working with his charity organization full-time for the years to come. On 2014, Satya Nadella became the new CEO of Microsoft and Bill Gates came back as the Chief Technology Adviser.
He was awarded an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005 for his services to philanthropy and charity. As an American citizen, he cannot be called "Sir Bill Gates", but can use the letters "KBE" after his name.
Net worth[change | change source]
In 1986, Gates took Microsoft public. The company's stock was worth $520 million. Gates owned 45 percent of the stock himself, which was worth $234 million. The company continued its rapid growth and the stock price soared. At one point, Gates' stock was worth over $100 billion. He was the richest man in the world. And now, he is the second-richest person in the world just behind Jeff Bezos as of December 2019.
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