Business Leader , Entrepreneur,
October 28 , 1955 (age 59)
Harvard College , Lakeside School
PLACE OF BIRTH
Seattle , Washington
William Henry Gates
William Henry Gates III
Bill Gates was born William Henry Gates III on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. Gates began to show an interest in computer programming at the age of 13 at the Lakeside School. He pursued his passion through college. Striking out on his own with his friend and business partner Paul Allen, Gates found himself at the right place at the right time. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics, he built the world’s largest software business, Microsoft. In the process, Gates became one of the richest men in the world.
Bill Gates grew up in an upper middle-class family with two sisters: Kristianne, who is older, and Libby, who is younger. Their father, William H. Gates Sr., was a promising, if somewhat shy, law student when he met his future wife, Mary Maxwell. She was an athletic, outgoing student at the University of Washington, actively involved in student affairs and leadership. The Gates family atmosphere was warm and close, and all three children were encouraged to be competitive and strive for excellence. Bill showed early signs of competitiveness when he coordinated family athletic games at their summer house on Puget Sound. He also relished in playing board games (Risk was his favorite) and excelled at Monopoly.
Bill Gates graduated from Lakeside in 1973. He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the college SAT test, a feat of intellectual achievement that for several years he boasted about when introducing himself to new people.
Gates enrolled at Harvard University in the fall, originally thinking of a career in law. But his freshman year saw him spend more of his time in the computer lab than in class. Gates did not really have a study regimen. Instead, he could get by on a few hours of sleep, cram for a test, and pass with a reasonable grade.
Invention of Microsoft
In 1975, Gates and
Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft , which became the world’s largest PC software company. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO and chief software architect , and was the largest individual shareholder until May 2014.
Gates has authored and co-authored several books.
Starting in 1987, Gates was included in the Forbes list of the world’s wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2014 excluding a few years after the
Financial crisis of 2007–08 . Between 2009 and 2014 his wealth doubled from US$40 billion to more than US$82B. Between 2013 and 2014 his wealth increased by US$
15 billion. Gates is currently the richest man in the world.
Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution . Gates has been
criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive , an opinion which has in some cases been upheld by numerous court rulings. Later in his career Gates pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation , established in 2000.
Gates stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft in January 2000. He remained as Chairman and created the position of Chief Software Architect for himself. In June 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work, and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie , chief software architect and
Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer. Ozzie later left the company. Gates’s last full-time day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008. He stepped down as Chairman of Microsoft in February 2014, taking on a new post as technology advisor to support newly appointed CEO Satya Nadella .