Biography of Bill GatesBill Gates, whose full name is William Henry Gates, is an entrepreneur and the founder of Microsoft, responsible for the groundbreaking operating systems, MS-DOS and Windows. He has topped the list of the world's wealthiest individuals 18 times. A significant portion of his income is devoted to philanthropy. Net worth: $133 billion.
Childhood and FamilyBill was born and raised in an affluent district of Seattle within a prosperous and well-established family. His father, William H. Gates, was a distinguished lawyer, while his mother, Mary, taught school and was actively involved in charitable activities, serving on the board of the organization, United Way of America. Bill was the second child, with an elder sister, Kristi, and a younger one, Libby.
Heeding this advice, the parents ceased restricting Bill's independence. By the age of 13, he was allowed to spend nights at the University of Washington, which boasted a laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art computers (in an era when personal computers were unheard of), diving deep into his area of interest.
Bill's parents encouraged him to venture beyond what he excelled at. He wasn't fond of swimming, football, or music, yet he engaged in them, though he gave up playing the trombone rather quickly. Bill often wondered why his parents pushed him towards activities he didn't excel at. Their perspective was that by trying new things, he was cultivating his intellect and understanding that failures are an inherent part of life.
Raised in a Protestant household, the young Gates was instilled with Biblical values. Mary would often reiterate, "To whom much is given, much will be required," emphasizing their duty as a privileged family to assist those less fortunate. The Gates children were never self-centered; they recognized early on the importance of charity and civic activism.
At school, Bill Gates immediately distinguished himself as one of the top students. From the earliest grades, teachers recognized his exceptional abilities, remarkable photographic memory, and unusually high IQ. Contrary to his peers who frolicked in the streets, Bill immersed himself in reading a 20-volume encyclopedia, meticulously poring over each page.
An Introduction to ComputersIn 1967, Gates transitioned to the prestigious Lakeside Middle School and first encountered the school's teletype. This device, reminiscent of a fusion between a typewriter and a printer, lacked any graphical display. Gates was so enamored with programming that he dedicated all his time in the computer class, often at the expense of other subjects.
We recognized that microprocessors were the future and were baffled as to why others couldn't see it.By age 17, Gates, then a high school senior, collaborated with a friend to develop a program analyzing road traffic. This endeavor netted them $20,000, and their subsequent contract — to design an analytical program for a hydroelectric plant — earned them a staggering $30,000.
The Genesis of MicrosoftAfter concluding his school years, Gates matriculated at Harvard University, where he sustained his ardor for programming. In 1974, he chanced upon an article about the inaugural portable computer, the "Altair". Both Bill and Paul approached its creators with a proposition to devise software for this novel apparatus.
Having garnered approval, they immediately set the wheels in motion. Crafting these programs often required nocturnal endeavors, especially since they were exploiting Harvard's computing resources, much to the chagrin of the institution's administration.
To the dismay of his parents, Gates abandoned his academic pursuits, dedicating himself wholeheartedly to his cherished enterprise. Returning to Seattle, the duo secured a modest office in its suburbs. By 1978, the burgeoning company was manned by a mere eleven individuals, with Bill orchestrating contracts and liaising with clientele, while Paul spearheaded the technical provisions.
The Birth of a BillionaireAt the age of 24, Gates signed a pivotal contract with IBM that eventually catapulted him to the zenith of wealth and influence on the global stage. The world's foremost computer company was on the lookout for an operating system for its nascent project, and Microsoft took on the challenge. Facilitating this monumental deal was Gates' mother, who introduced her son to the leadership at IBM. This, however, doesn't diminish Gates' own astuteness and persuasive prowess, which played a significant role in clinching this high-stakes task.
1983 heralded the debut of Microsoft Windows, an OS that was a derivative of MS-DOS but boasted a user-friendly graphical interface. Its core principle, the window frame manager (wherein clicking on a link or button opens a new window, isolated from others), might seem commonplace today, but back in 1983, it was nothing short of revolutionary. It significantly simplified computer interaction, eliminating the need to manually input file directories.
Around this time, Microsoft also introduced the text editor, Word, which remains a staple for most PC users today. Naturally, its current iteration is radically different from the original. Similarly, Microsoft Excel, released in 1985, quickly overshadowed competitors in the realm of spreadsheet software.
Life After MicrosoftIn June 2008, Bill Gates stepped down as the leader of Microsoft to immerse himself in philanthropic and societal ventures. Yet, this did not signify a complete severance from his brainchild. Until 2010, Gates remained the Chairman of the Board, albeit without executive powers. He also retained a significant 8.7% stake in the corporation.
In 2000, alongside his wife Melinda, he established a charitable foundation aimed at enhancing healthcare standards in developing nations.
In 1999, Gates renamed his charitable institution the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, focusing on bolstering healthcare in emerging nations and education within the US. In 2005, the couple was distinguished as "Persons of the Year" by Time magazine.
In early 2018, Bill Gates declared his intent to invest around $12 million in flu vaccine research. He also revealed that he declined an offer to be Donald Trump's science advisor.
Bill Gates' Personal LifeFrom 1994 to 2021, Bill was married to former Microsoft marketing executive, Melinda French (now Gates). A graduate of Duke University, she pursued computer science with a focus on economics. Melinda is nine years younger than her now ex-husband. The couple met in 1987 and dated for nearly seven years before tying the knot.
The Gates family resides in a vast mansion situated along the scenic shores of Lake Washington. This residence can rightly be called a house of the future, being equipped with cutting-edge technology that facilitates comprehensive control.
Bill Gates NowIn 2020, Bill Gates' forecasts regarding the most lethal threat to humanity came to pass. For several years, he repeatedly warned of a potential pandemic that could claim millions of lives. Ironically, conspiracy theorists accused Gates himself of orchestrating the global coronavirus outbreak, alleging his support for global vaccination demonstrated vested interests in widespread illness.
As of 2020, Bill Gates' wealth exceeded $100 billion. Despite this, the billionaire has excluded his children from his will, intending to leave all his money to his charitable foundationIn the fall of 2020, Bill Gates publicly spoke about the second wave of the coronavirus. He highlighted that the world's inhabitants would face worsening circumstances due to the disease and its repercussions. According to the businessman, with the onset of colder weather, people would spend more time indoors, inevitably leading to a surge in infections. His predictions were confirmed: a second wave began in December, and unfortunately, it wasn't the last.
Gates donates billions to medical advancements, procures coronavirus vaccines for impoverished nations, and genuinely puzzles over how his fellow list-toppers (Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson) can spend vast fortunes on space programs while Earth still grapples with a myriad of unresolved issues.