William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist, and humanitarian. Bill Gates is best known as the principal founder of Microsoft Corporation. Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. As of August 6, 2018, Gates had a net worth of $95.4 billion, making him the second-richest person in the world, behind Bezos.

Bill Gates Young

William Henry Gates III was born in Seattle, Washington to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates on October 28, 1955. 

He belonged to a wealthy family. His father was a prominent lawyer, his mother served on the board of directors for the First Interstate Bank and The United Way. Gates has one elder sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. 

Gates excelled in elementary school, particularly in mathematics and the science. At thirteen, he enrolled in the Lakeside School.

Bill Gates Early Life

When he was in the eighth grade, Lakeside obtained an ASR-33 teletype terminal and a donation of computer time on a general electric computer from a Mothers Club rummage sale. 

Gates took an interest in programming the GE system in BASIC. He was excused from math classes to pursue his interest. 

Bill Gates
Bill Gates

He wrote his first computer program on this machine, an implementation of tic-tac-toe which allowed users to play games against the computer. Gates was fascinated by the machine and how it would always execute software code perfectly.

One of these systems was a PDP-10 belonging to Computer Centre Corporation, which banned the Lakeside students after it caught them exploiting bugs in the operating system to obtain free computer time. 

After that experience, Gates swore off computers for a year and a half. In 1968, CCC (Computer Centre Corporation) approached the Lakeside computing students (Gates, Paul Allen, Ric Weiland, and Kent Evans) with an offer of free computer time in exchange for fixing the bugs in the system software. 

The following year, Information Sciences Inc. hired the Lakeside students to write a payroll programme in COBOL. This  provided them not only computer time but royalties as well. 

Bill Gates & Microsoft

He enrolled at Harvard University in the fall of 1973 without a definite study plan. He spent most of his time in the computer centre on campus. While at Harvard, he met his future business partner, Steve Ballmer. 

Gates dropped out of Harvard at this time. He had talked over this decision with his parents, who were supportive of him after seeing how much he wanted to start his own company. 

He explained his decision to leave Harvard: “if things hadn’t worked out, I could always go back to school. I was officially on leave.

Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft. He started the company in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. 

Allen named their partnership “Micro-Soft”, a combination of “microcomputer” and “software”, and their first office was in Albuquerque.

During Microsoft’s early years, all employees had broad responsibility for the company’s business. Gates oversaw the business details, but he also continued to write code. He claims that he personally reviewed every line of code that the company produced, and often rewrote parts of it as he saw fit.

Gates had primary responsibility for Microsoft’s product strategy from the company’s founding in 1975 until 2006. He gained a reputation for being distant from others.

Bill Gates Personal Life

His wife Melinda joined Microsoft as a marketing manager in1982. Soon she was responsible for leading the development of various multimedia products.

Melinda began dating CEO Bill Gates in 1987, after meeting him at a trade fair in New York. In 1994, she married Gates in a private ceremony held in Lanai, Hawaii. 

The couple have three children: daughters Jennifer Katharine Gates (born 1996) and Phoebe Adele Gates (born 2002), and son Rory John Gates (born 1999). The family resides in an estate on the shore of Lake Washington near Seattle. 

Bill Gates Life after Microsoft

In 1999, Gates wrote the book Business @ the Speed of Thought, which received wide critical acclaim. Later his book was listed on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Amazon.com. 

Gates’ previous book, The Road Ahead, published in 1995, held the No. 1 spot on the New York Times’ bestseller list for seven weeks. 

Later Gates has held the top spot on the list of The World’s Billionaires for 18 out of the past 23 years.

During Microsoft’s early history, Gates was an active software developer, particularly in the company’s programming language products. However his primary role in most of the company’s history was as a manager and executive. 

Bill Gates Philanthropy Work

On June 15, 2006, Gates announced that he would transition out of his role at Microsoft to dedicate more time to philanthropy.

Philanthropy is also important to Gates. He and his wife, Melinda, have endowed a foundation with more than $28 billion to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning.

The foundation is organized into four program areas: Global Development Division, Global Health Division, United States Division, and Global Policy & Advocacy Division.

Gates purchased the Codex Leicester, a collection of scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci, for US$30.8 million at an auction in 1994. 

He also enjoys playing bridge, tennis, and golf. In 2016, he was discussing his gaming habits when he revealed that he was color-blind.

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