Bill Gates Biography 2021 - Microsoft's Co-Founder
Bill Gates is an American entrepreneur and computer programmer. He co-founded the World's largest personal computer software company, Microsoft. Gates is wildly known as one of the richest and most influential people in the world.
Entrepreneur and businessman Bill Gates have become one of the richest men globally with billions of dollars to his name. After stepping down as Microsoft's chairman in February 2014, he focused on charitable work through his foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Now, let us learn more about Bill Gates' biography and professional life.
Early life, Family and Education
Bill Gates, whose birth name is William Henry Gates III, was born on October 28, 1955. He grew up in an upper-middle-class family with his sisters, Kristianne Gates and Libby Gates, in Seattle, Washington. He was born as a middle child to attorney William Henry Gates II and teacher, Mary Maxwell Gates. All three children in the Gates family were encouraged to be competitive and strive for excellence. Bill was competitive at almost everything he did, including board games.
When Bill turned 13, his parents enrolled him in the private preparation school, Lakeside Preparatory School. At Lakeside, Gates excelled in various subjects ranging from Math, Science, English, Literature, and even drama. At Lakeside, he was introduced to the computer and also met his future business partner Paul Allen.
When Bill was growing up, there weren't home computers or tablets like we have today. While he was at Lakeside, the school had gotten a deal with the city of Seattle and purchased a teletype terminal for students to use. This was Bill Gates' first encounter with a computer. He became mesmerized by what a computer could do and spent much of his free time on the terminal.
Bill Gates had keen interest on computer and software as a child. Image Source: Bill Gates Instagram.
Gates graduated from Lakeside in 1973 and enrolled at Harvard University in the fall of 1973, originally thinking of pursuing a career in law. However, he spent more time learning about computers. At the end of his sophomore year, Gates dropped out of Harvard to follow his entrepreneurial calling and joined Paul Allen.
Gates became a fast friend with his future business partner Paul Allen at Lakeside School. The pair bonded over their common enthusiasm for computers. They spent much of their free time together working on programs in the computer lab of their school. Gates and Allen went into business together for the first time at the age of 15 in 1970. They developed a program, "Traf-o-Data," which monitored traffic patterns in Seattle. They earned $20,000 for their efforts. After graduating high school, they both went to different colleges but remained in touch.
Wife and Children
Bill Gates is happily married to Melinda French, who now goes by Melinda Gates. Bill Gates' wife is an MBA and has a bachelor's degree in computer science. She met Bill Gates while she was working as Microsoft product manager. The lovely duo tied the knot on January 1, 1994, in Hawaii. The pair took some time off in 1995 to travel, following the tragedy caused by the death of his mother after battling breast cancer. The couple has three children, Rory John Gates, Phoebe Adele Gates, and Jennifer Katharine Gates.
Bill Gates is happily married to Melinda and has three children. Image Source: Bill Gates Instagram.
Bill Gates' oldest daughter Katharine graduated from Stanford University in 2018 with a degree in human biology and just finished her first year at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine. She is passionate about horse riding and grew up competing against Eve Jobs, the late Steve Jobs's daughter. In January 2020, Katharine announced her engagement on Instagram to renowned Egyptian equestrian Nayel Nassar who also attended Stanford University. Rory Gates is Bill and Melinda's only son and is enrolled in the University of Chicago after graduating from high school in 2018. He likes to keep his profile low. Their second daughter Phoebe Gates is in her early teens. Just like her brother, she likes to keep her profile low.
Bill Gates' venture to start his own company, Microsoft, started when his former schoolmate, Paul Allen, moved to Boston from Seattle to work for Honeywell. Around this time, Allen showed Gates a magazine featuring an article on the Altair 8800 mini-computer kit. They both were fascinated with the possibilities of what this computer could create in the world of personal computing.
A small company made this phenomenal product in Alburquerque, New Mexico, called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS). Ed Roberts, the president of MITS, was looking for someone to do further programming to it. Gates and Allen contacted the company and proclaimed that they were working on a BASIC software program that would run the Altair computer. Altair wanted a demonstration in a few weeks, but they didn't have an Altair to work with or the code to run it in reality.
Bill Gates started his company with his high school friend Paul Allen. Image Source: Bill Gates Instagram.
Gates and Allen scrambled and worked hard over the next month or so on to write the BASIC software at Harvard's computer lab. Despite never having tried the software out on an Altair computer, Allen traveled to Albuquerque to have a test run at MITS. Surprisingly, it worked perfectly on the first try. Allen was hired at MITS, and Gates dropped out to work with Allen. They founded Microsoft together. The partnership with Ed Roberts eventually led to the first product made by Microsoft, the Altair BASIC.
In 1975, Gates and Allen formed Microsoft. During the starting time of Microsoft, it was not smooth sailing. According to Gates, people actually paying for Microsoft's BASIC in the Altair computer were only about 10%. The software was popular with computer hobbyists. They obtained pre-market copies and were reproducing and distributing for free. Gates was concerned about this, and he knew that free distribution of software is the same as stealing, especially when it involved software that was created to be sold. To address this situation, Gates wrote an open letter to computer hobbyists in 1976. In the letter, he wrote that continued distribution and use of the software without paying for it would "prevent good software from being written."
Microsoft was located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 1976 to 1979. Gates moved its operations to Bellevue, Washington, just east of Seattle at the beginning of 1979. He threw himself into his work along with all 25 employees of the company. They had broad responsibilities for all aspects of the operation, product development, business development, and marketing. By 1979, Microsoft was grossing approximately $2.5 million, although it started on shaky footing. The company began to expand and specialized in languages such as Pascal, Basic, Forton, and Cobol.
In November 1980, Microsoft was approached by IBM to build software that would operate their upcoming personal computer (PC). Gates reached a deal with IBM to provide an MS-DOS operating system on the new IBM PC. Gates held onto the software copyright on the new IBM PC and sold the software to IBM for $50,000. It was not long when the PC market took off, and Microsoft also sold MS-DOS to the other PC manufacturers. In mid-1981, Gates and Allen incorporated Microsoft. Gates was appointed as president and the chairman of the board, and Allen was named executive vice president. Microsoft was going global with offices in Great Britain and Japan. It was the operating system in a large percentage of computers around the world.
In 1985, Gates released the Microsoft Windows Operating System, similar to Apple's operating system in 1984. The battle had begun between the operating system of Microsoft and Apple. People preferred Apple OS over Microsoft OS, thinking it was better than the other. However, Gates continued to press the open PC concept of OS, which could run on various PC compatible machines, while Apple OS only ran on Apple machine. Gates advised Apple to have copyright. However, they were more focused on selling computers. Gates saw this as an open opportunity, and Microsoft was soon installed on nearly 90% of the world's personal computers. Because of this move, at the age of 31, Bill Gates became a billionaire owning 45% of his stock.
Despite Microsoft's success, Gates wasn't satisfied with just winning the software market's operating system portion. Gates was known as a ruthless competitor outside the company. Several companies led by IBM began to develop their own operating system, which they licensed from Microsoft DOS to replace MS-DOS. Gates decided to invest his name and Microsoft's entire future to advancing the windows operating system, even if it meant losing IBM as a client. This eventually led to the failure of OS2.
In 1989, the company introduced new products such as Windows Office, Word, and Excel into one system compatible with Microsoft products. He came out with Windows 3.0, which turned out to be a best market seller, and Microsoft became a virtual monopoly on the operating system for PCs. In 2000, Gates stepped down from Microsoft's day-to-day operation and turned over the job to his college friend Steve Ballmer. He remained chairman of the board and positioned himself as a chief software architect to concentrate on something he was more passionate about.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill Gates' mother was a highly influential person in his life, and under her influence, he and his wife Melinda established a charity organization, William H. Gates Foundation. In 1999, it was renamed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This foundation was dedicated to supporting education, world health, and investment in low-income communities worldwide. Not only these supports, but this organization also tackles domestic issues such as helping students in the USA become college-ready. With the establishment, they also announced the first round of Gates Millennium Scholars. It is part of a $1 billion effort to help 20,000 young people afford college over the next two decades.
By 2002, the foundation had completed installing 47,000 computers in 11,000 libraries in all 50 states. Since stepping down from Microsoft, Bill's involvement with the foundation occupied much of his time and interest. Gates spoke out in favor of national common core standards in grades kindergarden through 12 and charter schools in 2015. The foundation also announced that it would give its employees a year's paid leave after a child's birth or adoption. In 2017, the foundation launched its first annual "Goalkeepers" report. The report examined the progress made in several important public health areas, including child mortality, malnutrition, and HIV.
In April 2018, gates and Google co-founder Larry Page teamed to provide $12 million in funding for a universal flu vaccine. In November 2017, Gates revealed that he was investing $50 million each into the Dementia Discovery Fund and start-up ventures working in Alzheimer's research. In 2017, it was revealed that $80 million had been invested by one of Gate's firms to develop a "smart city" near Phoenix, Arizona. In March 2020, to curb the coronavirus outbreak, the foundation teamed with the Wellcome Trust and Mastercard and pledged $125 million.
Bill Gates Net Worth
According to Forbes, Bill Gates has a net worth of $122.9 billion. Since the company's IPO in 1986, Bill Gates has sold at least $40 billion in Microsoft and collected over $12 billion. He created the holding company Cascade Investment with that money. The company has continued to grow and includes investments in companies like Canadian National Railway and Auto Nation. Bill Gates's net worth topped $350 million when Microsoft went public in 1986.
Gates resides with his family in an amazing mansion named "Xanadu 2.0" in Washington. Bought at $2 million in 1988, Bill spent 7 years and $63 million constructing the lake-front property of 66,000 square feet area, which became arguably the most impressive private residence in the world. In October 2014, the Gates family bought a 228-acre ranch property in Rancho Sante Fe, California, for $18 million. In April 2020, Bill and Melinda bought a stunning oceanfront mansion roughly 15 minutes from their Rancho Santa Fe ranch in Del Mar, California, for $43 million. In 2013, gates paid $8.7 million for a second horse ranch in Wellington, Florida.
Furthermore, in 2009, Gates bought a 492-acre ranch in Cody, Wyoming, but the amount they paid to buy the property is unknown. However, it was initially listed for $12 million, and just before Bill became the owner, it was listed for $8.9 million. Bill has purchased an all-electric Porsche Taycon in 2020 and owns a Porsche 911 Carrera valued at $149,729.
As a world-renowned businessman and billionaire, Bill Gates has been in front of the media for many years. He is known by everyone as Microsoft's founder but has now established himself as a philanthropist in the world. And with billions of dollars to his name, Gates pledges to help as many people as he can through his foundation.
- As a child, Bill's nickname was Trey, which was given to him by his grandmother.
- Bill scored 1590 out of 1600 in SAT and used to brag about it every time he was introduced to someone.
- Bill's personal wealth exceeds the Gross National Product (GNP) of some Third World Countries.
- Bill was the richest man in the world consistently every year since 1988 except for 2010 and 2011.
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