If you have billions in your bank accounts, what would you do? Being aware of how the the majority of the people live and getting involved in their lives, is Bill Gates’ answer. Though more known as one of the richest men on earth, Bill Gates is not only a business magnate, but also a writer and philanthropist.
Gates is considered as one of the leaders in software development. He was the chairman and the co-founder of the the giant software company, Microsoft. Gates held the positions of chief software architect and CEO of Microsoft during his career. Although no longer the CEO, Gates continues to be among the largest individual shareholders of the company he founded with Paul Allen.
Bill Gates, or William Henry Gates III, was born on October 28, 1955 to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates, which both came from well-off families. He spent his early childhood years in Seattle, Washington where he was born. Gate’s father was actually a prominent lawyer, while his mother was a University of Washington regent, schoolteacher, and chairman of the United Way International. His great grandfather was a mayor and state legislator and his grandfather held was an executive of a national bank. Coming from an upper middle class family, Gates had an excellent early education. He was sent to Lakeside, a private school popular for its intense academic environment, where he was also introduced to the field where he would later establish his empire.
Years in the academy
In Lakeside, Gates explored the world of computers and began programming at the early age of 13. It was here that he first formed an alliance with Paul Allen, who was two years his senior, to whom he shared his interest in computers. In 1973, Gates graduated from Lakeside and entered Harvard University. It was in Harvard that he met Steve Balmer, one Microsoft’s CEO.
Early years of the Microsoft
Bill Gate’s and his childhood friend, Paul Allen, took interest in Altair 8800 computer after reading about it from the 1975 issue of Popular Electronics. Gates contacted MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) to say that he and his companions developed the BASIC interpreter. This, however, was just a bogus claim to get the attention of MITS. They actually developed the BASIC interpreter just a few weeks after they were required by MITS to run a demo. The demo was so successful that Paul Allen was hired at MITS in Albuquerque. Later, Gates followed him after taking a leave of absence at Harvard University. They formed a partnership, which they named Micro-Soft. Just a year later, they changed the name to Microsoft, finally dropping the hyphen in the official company name. From its establishment until 2006, Gates played an active role in the development of the company.
Gates as a philanthropist
In 1994, Gates sold some of his stocks and established the William H. Gates Foundation. He married Melinda French that same year. In 2000, he combined family foundations to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is one of the largest transparently operated foundations in the world. The foundation aims to alleviate poverty and promote health care. It also aims to make education and information technology accessible to a great number of people. In 1999, Gates wrote a book “Business @ the Speed of Thought,” which showed how people can find solutions to their business problems through computer technology. This book was translated in 25 languages and were available in over 60 countries. Aside from this book, Gates had written many others that were considered best-sellers. The money that came from selling these books are donated to non-profit organizations that provide educational support to people in need.