Bill Gates Biography
William Henry Gates III is one of the most popular American business magnate, software developer, investor, and philanthropist. He is regarded as the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation. While he was working in Microsoft, Bill Gates served as chairman, chief executive officer (CEO), president and chief software architect, while he was also the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. He is one of the most famous entrepreneurs and pioneers of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.
Bill Gates was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Gates co-established Microsoft together with his childhood friend Paul Allen in 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Microsoft went on to become the universally largest personal computer software company. Gates served the company as chairman and CEO until stepping down as CEO in January 2000, but Bill Gates remained chairman and became chief software architect. In the 1990s, Gates find fault in his business tactics, which have been declared anti-competitive. In June 2006, Gates declared that he would be serving at a part-time role at Microsoft. He declared that he will serve full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the private charitable foundation that he and his wife, Melinda Gates, established in 2000. He left the job of chairman at Microsoft in February 2014 and appointed as a technology adviser to support the newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella.
Since 1987, Bill Gates got selected in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest documented individuals. From 1995 to 2017, he held the Forbes Title of the wealthiest person in the world all but four of those years. In October 2017, he was surpassed by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who had an estimated net worth of approximately US$90.6 billion compared to Gates’ net worth of approximately US$89.9 billion at the time. As of November 9, 2019, Gates had an estimated net worth of US$107.1 billion, the second wealthiest person in the world, behind Bezos.
The birth date of Bill Gates is 28th October 1955 in Seattle, Washington. His parents are William H. Gates Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His father was a lawyer, and his mother was a member of the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way of America. Gates had two siblings, an older sister Kristi (Kristianne) and a younger sister Libby. The family used to stay in the Sand Point area of Seattle in a home that was damaged by a rare tornado when Gates was only seven years old. Early in his life, Gates observed that his parents wanted him to become a lawyer. When he was a child, his family regularly went to the church of the Congregational Christian Churches, a Protestant Reformed denomination. He used to stay in his room where he would shout “I’m thinking” when his mother asked what he was doing.
At 13, Bill gates went to the private Lakeside prep school, and he wrote his first software program. When he was studying in the eighth class, the Mothers’ Club at the school used proceeds from Lakeside School’s rummage sale to buy a Teletype Model 33 ASR terminal. Gates was very fond of programming the GE system in BASIC, and he was excused from math classes to pursue his interest. He wrote his first computer program on this machine and implementation of tic-tac-toe that enabled users to play games against the computer. Gates got attracted to the machine and how it works to get software code perfectly. After the Mothers Club donation was exhausted, he and other students spend most of the time on systems including DEC PDP minicomputers.
The four students had made the Lakeside Programmers Club in order to collect money. At the end of the ban, they are said to find bugs in CCC’s software in exchange for extra computer time. Gates moved to CCC’s offices and studied source code for various programs that ran on the system, including Fortran, Lisp, and machine language. The following year, a Lakeside teacher shortlisted Gates and Evans in order to automate the school’s class-scheduling system, providing them computer time and royalties in return. The two students together worked in order to have the program ready for their senior year. Towards the end of their junior year, Evans had a mountain climbing accident and dead, which Gates has announced one of the saddest days of his life. Gates then started working with Allen who helped him finish the system for Lakeside.
At the early age of 17, Gates formed a business with Allen called Traf-O-Data to make traffic counters which are specifically based on the Intel 8008 processor. In 1972, he worked as a congressional page in the House of Representatives. He was honored with National Merit Scholar when he graduated from Lakeside School in 1973. He scored a higher rank on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973. He selected a pre-law major but took mathematics and graduate-level computer science courses. Gates left Harvard after studying two years while Ballmer stayed and graduated magna cum laude. Ballmer supported to become Gates as Microsoft’s CEO years later and maintained that position from 2000 until his resignation in 2014.
Gates did not have a definite study plan while he was studying at Harvard, and he used to spend a lot of time using the school’s computers. He together with Paul Allen, joined Honeywell during the summer of 1974. Gates and Allen wonder in search of the opportunity to start their own computer software company. Gates dropped out of Harvard at this time. His parents always supported him after seeing the dedication of how much he wanted to start his own company. He decided to leave Harvard saying: “if things hadn’t worked out, I could always go back to school. I was officially on leave.”
Bill Gates foundation of Microsoft
Bill Gates established Microsoft in 1976 when he signed a contract with MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) in order to develop a basic operating system for their new microcomputers. In the early days, Bill Gates would consider every line of code. He was also serving in several aspects of Microsoft’s business such as packing and sending off orders.
The big achievement of Microsoft came in 1980 when IBM approached them for a new BASIC operating system for its new computers. In the early 1980s, IBM was one of the best leading PC manufacturers. Microsoft struggled hard to sell its operating system to these other companies. Thus Microsoft was able to achieve the dominant position of software manufacture just as the personal computer market started to boom. Other companies have worked hard to displace Microsoft as the dominant provider of computer operating software. Programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel are also popular.
Bill Gates – Windows
In 1990 Microsoft created its first version of Windows. This was a big achievement in operating software as it replaced text interfaces with graphical interfaces. It soon became a best seller and was able to capture the shares of the majority of the operating system market. In 1995 Windows 95 was built, setting new standards and features for operating systems. This version of Windows has become the backbone of all future releases of versions from Windows 2000 to the latest XP and Vista.
Bill Gates has been keenly interested to extend the business of Microsoft. For example, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer became the most popular web browser, because it came inbuilt installed on most new computers.
MSN live search has worked hard to gain more than 5% of market share. In this respect, Microsoft has been declined by Google. Nevertheless, the success of Microsoft in cornering various aspects of the software market has resulted in several anti-trust cases. In 1998 US versus Microsoft, Microsoft came close to being broken up into three smaller firms. Microsoft was able to survive as a single venture. Although Microsoft was one of the most popular firms in the 1980s and 1990s, they are now seen as an aging and declining company – compared to the more dynamic Google and Apple.
In 2000, he quit his day to day operations of Microsoft, replacing the job of CEO to his college friend Steve Ballmer, who had been with Microsoft since 1980. Gates became chief software architect so he could focus on what was made for him the more interesting side of the business, though he remained chairman of the board.
In 2006, Gates declared that he was moving from full-time work at Microsoft to devote more and more quality time to the foundation. The last day of Gates at Microsoft was June 27, 2008.
In February 2014, Gates quit the job as chairman of Microsoft in order to move into a new position as a technology adviser. Longtime Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer got replaced by 46-year-old Satya Nadella.
Philanthropic Activities – Bill Gates
Bill Gates got married to Melinda French (married in 1992). Bill Gates says motivation stories of the famous person David Rockefeller. Like Rockefeller, Gates has made his intentions to focus on global issues ignored by the government. He also served in improving the standards of public school education in the US. Gates has also sought to focus on the issues that improve the health of the population rather than ‘vanity projects’.
From 2008 Gates has served full time on his philanthropic interests.
Gates has said that he has no use for money, and will only leave a small portion of his wealth to his children.
In philanthropy activities, he served to improve the condition of health, and in particular helping to reduce diseases, such as polio which affect young children. He has also targeted to improve environmental issues. In 2015, he donated $1 billion to a clean energy project, as he sees supporting new ‘greener’ technologies as a way to deal with global warming.
Awards & Achievements
- In 2002, Bill and Melinda Gates honored with the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service.
- Gates was honored with the Bower Award for Business Leadership from The Franklin Institute in 2010 due to his contributions to Microsoft and his philanthropic work.
- Bill and Melinda Gates jointly achieved India’s third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2015 for their successful foundation’s philanthropic activities in India.
Personal Life & Legacy
Bill Gates married Melinda French, a young woman who started working at Microsoft, in 1989. The couple got into a relationship and got married in1994. They have three children.
In 2015, Bill Gates has a net worth of approximately US $79.3 billion.
Important Questions to Discuss
How was Bill Gates in studies?
He was honored as a National Merit Scholar when he graduated from Lakeside School in 1973. He was a scholar in Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT) and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973. He selects a pre-law major but took mathematics and graduate-level computer science courses.
What was Bill Gates’s first job?
This Harvard drop-out followed his ambitions for tech from a very young age. He has worked as a computer programmer for TRW during his senior year in high school.
How did Bill Gates change the world?
He changed the world with his technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics, and charities. He had made his contributions in donating billions of dollars and continues to do it up to this day.
How fast can Bill Gates read?
He reads very fast almost 150 pages per hour (750 words per minute), 15 books in a week and with a 90% retention rate.
Why Bill Gates is a leader?
His leadership quality worked in order to empower people because an individual person can create new opportunities to explore ideas. Although some people followed him because of the charisma he exudes, many people followed Gates because they knew he could help them transform themselves into better leaders too.
Who helped Bill Gates?
The foundation has been controlled by its three trustees: Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett. Other principal officers include Co-Chair William H. Gates, Sr. and Chief Executive Officer Susan Desmond-Hellmann. It had valued a net worth of $46.8 billion as of December 31, 2018.