Bill Gates (28 October, 1955) is globally known as one the richest men. He is also an influential public speaker, a technologist, and one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the 20th century. He co-founded Microsoft Corporation and Bill & Melina Gates Foundation. Bill Gates is also a philanthropist and he has authored several books such as The Road Ahead and Business @ the speed of thought.
Biography Bill Gates
Bill Gates is born in Seattle, Washington. He is a middle child and has two sisters. Bill Gates’ father, William H. Gates, was an attorney and his mother, Mary Gates, was a one of the boards of directors for First Interstate Bank, a financial holding company in Seattle. Like others in that time, Bill Gates was expected to be an attorney as well as his dad.
In 1967, Gates attended Lakeside School, a private preparatory school in Seattle. During his study, he got interested in computer codes after the school invested in General Electric computers for students. Gates worked with BASIC, a beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, and started developing software and games.
He was 13 when he created the computer version of tic-tac-toe. Gates and several other students, including Paul Allen, also manipulated the computer system to obtain additional computer time at school. The students got banned from the computers, but after the students offered to identify bugs in the system, they were allowed extra computer time.
Bill Gates was very motivated in school and studied source codes, a collection of computer instructions, for multiple programs. Within a few years, Information Sciences Inc. requested him and three other students to write a payroll program in another computer language called COBOL.
Because of this, Gates became more-known with others and the Lakeside School started to acknowledge his abilities in computer science. The school also requested him to write the school’s schedule system, which was very fortunate for him since he could schedule himself with girls. Even though he did not really talk with them, he liked to be in those classes.
Bill Gates graduated from Lakeside School with an almost perfect score on the SAT test, an assessment to check student’s readiness for college. He was also designated to National Merit Scholarship Program.
He enrolled Harvard University in 1973 and studied mathematics and computer science.
During his study period, he innovated an algorithm for pancake sorting, a familiar term to solve mathematical problems.
For approximately thirty years, his version held a record in being the fastest. Instead of finishing his study, Bill Gates saw other possibilities. He speculated that the MITS Altair 8800 computer was soon going to be released, and this computer was running on a computer processor that he knew very well.
After the demonstration of this computer in 1975, a 20 years old Gates contacted the creators of the new computer and pretended that he and Paul Allen were working on a BASIC interpreter for the computer. The company agreed to meet Bill Gates and friend Paul Allen for showing a demonstration. Both students had to work hard since they have not been working on the BASIC interpreter yet. Bill Gates and Paul Allen finalized the interpreter, and after a demonstration, they were immediately hired. The interpreter was named Altair Basic and their partnership was first called Micro-soft.
In 1976, their trade name was officially registered as Microsoft and the partnership with MITS ended. Microsoft started developing program languages for various systems but Bill Gates mainly evaluated every line of code that has been written. According to Bill Gates, many times he personally had to rewrite parts when he identified mistakes.
In 1980, IBM was experiencing trouble with obtaining an operating system for their new computer. Bill Gates proposed using 86-DOS, an operating system developed by Seattle Computer Products, and then transform it to MS-DOS. He became an official license agent with the conditions to eventually be the owner and licensed the product to IBM.
As Bill Gates expected, cloners realized that is was cheaper to purchase MS-DOS instead of creating a personal operating system. As a result, IBM’s sales of MS-DOS made Microsoft a large player in the computer industry since the MS-DOS became the standard in the computer industry. For this reason, Microsoft was perceived as being very influential on the new computers. Gates restructured Microsoft in 1981 and he became Microsoft’s president and its board chairman.
In 1985, the first version of Microsoft Windows for consumers was launched, Windows 1.0. Microsoft also developed a separate operating system for IBM in 1986. Even though the past reflects good collaboration between the two parties, due to different viewpoints their partnership ended.
During Gates’ positions at Microsoft, he was known as a terrible boss. He was distant from others, it was difficult to reach him, and he could be very direct and combative. By this time, in 1987, Gates was named in the Forbes magazine 400 Richest People in America. At that time, he was named in the Forbes World’s Billionaires list and he was the wealthiest individual for many years.
In 1989, he additionally founded Interactive Home Systems, an advertising and licensing agency, which was later renamed to Corbis. Even though Bill Gates claimed that he was a terrible boss, he had special feelings for Melinda French. They worked together and married in 1994.
Two years later they got their first daughter Jennifer Katharine. The pair also has a son Rory John (1999) and another daughter Phoebe Adelle (2002). At this moment, Bill Gates and his family live Washington in a residence with the value of approximately $125 million. The business grew rapidly and Chief Executive Officers Magazine named Gates CEO of the year in 1994. In the same year, Bill Gates bought the Codex Leicester, a collection of famous scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci.
Bill Gates was also honored as the twentieth Distinguished fellow of the British Computer Society in this year. He also donated a part of his Microsoft stock to establish the William H. Gates Foundation. It later merged with Gates Learning foundation to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. Today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also known as the largest and most transparent private organization in the world.
The organization provides philanthropic work through their Global Health Division to reduce inequities in health, Global Development Division to improve the delivery of high-impact health products, Global Growth & Opportunity Division to create and scale market-based innovations, and their United States Division to improve U.S. high school and postsecondary education. The foundation employs more than 1000 employees and its revenues in 2010 exceeded $50 billion.
In 1996, he also donated $6 million to Stanford University for the construction of the Gates Computer Science building. Two years later, he was ranked number one in the Top 50 Cyber Elite, published by Time Magazine. He also ranked number two in the Upside Elite, published by Upside Magazine. Gates has become well-known by others and he does not like the attention brought with being one of the richest men in the world.
For this reason, Bill Gates bought a private jet in 1997. He is very generous and donated $20 million of his personal account to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999, a private research university, for the construction of a computer laboratory. In this year, he also obtained the New York Institute of Technology’s president’s Medal.
In 2001, The Guardians called him as one of the most influential speakers, and in 2002, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda French Gates received the Jefferson Award, an award for people who do extraordinary things without the expectation of recognition, from the American Institute for Public Service.
By 2004, he became director of Berkshire Hathaway, an American multinational conglomerate holding company.
In 2005, Bill Gates was made an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, awarded for prominent national or regional achievements, by Queen Elizabeth II. One year later, he and Melinda were awarded the Placard of the Order of the Aztec Eagle for their philanthropic work around the world.
In 2006, Bill Gates helped to establish TerraPower, an organization that aims to develop a sustainable and economic nuclear energy system for a more affordable and secure energy in the world. In this year, he also received the James C. Global Humanitarian Award, an award given to people whose broad vision and leadership are focused on combatting critical global problems, from The Tech Museum of Innovation.
Times Magazine stated that Bill is one the 100 people who most influenced the 20th century. He has always been interested in helping others. For this reason, he donated funds to start research to tackle global problems.
In 2010, Gates received the Bower Award for Business Leadership from The Franklin Institute, a science museum and the center of science education and research in Philadelphia. In this year, he was also honored the Silver Buffalo Award, an award for noteworthy and extraordinary service to youth, by the Boy Scouts of America.
By 2012, Forbes claimed that Gates was the fourth most powerful person in the world. Gates tries to raise awareness about several topics, especially about global health. In 2014, he participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge and posted a video of himself on YouTube in which dumps a bucket of ice water on his head to raise awareness about the ALS disease.
In the same year, he also drank water that was produced from human feces but it was processed by the Omni Processor. The processor processes a mixture of human excreta and water by eliminating pathogen to stop the spread of disease from fecal sludge.
Since 2014, Bill Gates’s own stakes in various businesses through Cascade Investment LLC. In this year, he also became Technology Advisor.
In 2015, Bill Gates and his wife received the Padma Bhushan, an award given for distinguished service of high order without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex. The award is the third-highest civilian award in the Republic of India.
In 2016, he and Melinda were also honored the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an award given to people who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interest of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors, by President Barack Obama.
In 2017, Gates and his wife were also awarded the Legion of Honor, the highest French order or merit for military and civil merits, by President François Hollande.
Bill gates received many honorary doctorates. In 2000, he received an honorary doctorate from Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands. This continued by the received doctorates from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden in 2002, Waseda University in Japan in 2005, Harvard University, Tsinghua University in China and the Karolinska University in Sweden in 2007, and Cambridge University in 2009. Bill Gates was also an honorary trustee of Peking University in 2007.
Currently, Bill Gates mainly focus on philanthropic work through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His is committed to helping people all over the world, live healthier, and increase productivity in life through the foundation. According to Bill Gates, organizations can tackle global problems that are ignored by governments and other organizations.
For this reason, he also founded The Giving Pledge, a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes. At this moment, he already spent $27 billion on philanthropic work and he states that 95 percent of all his assets will be shared with to others in need when he dies.
Bill Gates quotes
- “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
- “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
- “Treatment without prevention is simply unsustainable.”
- “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
- “Innovation is moving at a scarily fast pace.”
- “I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act.”
- “We are not even close to finishing the basic dream of what the PC can be.”
- “Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.”
- “By improving health, empowering women, population growth comes down.”
- “Headlines, in a way, are what mislead you because bad news is a headline, and gradual improvement is not.”
Publications and Books by Bill Gates et al.
- 2015. The next epidemic—lessons from Ebola. New England Journal of Medicine, 372(15), 1381-1384.
- 2009. Total recall: How the e-memory revolution will change everything (p. 48). New York: Dutton.
- 2008. A new approach to capitalism in the 21st century. Creative Capitalism: A Conversation.
- 2008. Making capitalism more creative. Time Magazine, 31.
- 2008. How to fix capitalism. Time, 11, 24-29.
- 2007. A robot in every home. Scientific American, 296(1), 58-65.
- 2007. How to keep America competitive. New Oriental English, 5, 019.
- 2006. Unleashing the power of creativity.
- 1999. Business@ the speed of thought. Business Strategy Review, 10(2), 11-18.
- 1998. What will be: How the new world of information will change our lives. HarperCollins Publishers.
- 1996. The road ahead. rev. ed. New York and London: Penguin Books.
- 1976. An open letter to hobbyists. Homebrew Computer Club Newsletter, 2(1), 2.
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Published on: 01/12/2018 | Last update: 02/15/2022
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