Who Is Bill Gates?
Entrepreneur and businessman Bill Gates and his business partner Paul Allen founded and built the world’s largest software business, Microsoft, through technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics. In the process, Gates became one of the richest men in the world. In February 2014, Gates announced that he was stepping down as Microsoft’s chairman to focus on charitable work at his foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bill Gates is worth $103 billion, making him the second wealthiest person on planet Earth after Jeff Bezos, who’s worth an estimated $139 billion, according to Forbes.
His daily routine, which Business Insider gathered prior to social distancing and the pandemic, is often quite busy and varied. Here’s a look inside the daily schedule of Bill Gates, one of the wealthiest men in the world.
Bill Gates (full name: William Henry Gates III) was born on Oct. 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, the son of William H. Gates Sr., an attorney, and Mary Maxwell, a businesswoman and bank executive who served on the University of Washington Board of Regents from 1975 to 1993. He has two sisters.
Gates wrote his first software program at 13 and in high school was part of a group, which also included childhood friend Paul Allen, that computerized their school’s payroll system and developed Traf-O-Data, a traffic-counting system that they sold to local governments. Gates and Allen wanted to start their own company immediately, but Gates’ parents wanted him to finish high school and go on to college, hoping he eventually would become a lawyer.
In 1975 Gates, then a sophomore at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, joined Allen, who was working as a programmer for Honeywell near Boston, to write software for the first microcomputers, later called PCs. They started by adapting BASIC, a popular programming language for large computers.
The Journey of Microsoft
In 1985, Gates and Microsoft took another risk. They released the Microsoft Windows operating system. This was Microsoft’s answer to a similar operating system introduced by Apple in 1984. At first, many people complained that Microsoft Windows wasn’t as good as the Apple version. However, Gates continued to press the open PC concept. Microsoft Windows could run on a variety of PC compatible machines, while the Apple operating system only ran on Apple machines. Microsoft won the operating system battle and was soon installed on nearly 90% of the world’s personal computers.
All the while, Gates was defending Microsoft against lawsuits and Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice investigations of claims charging unfair dealings with computer manufacturers. Yet the innovation continued. Windows 95 was launched in 1995 and in 2001 Microsoft debuted the original Xbox gaming system. Microsoft appeared untouchable.
In 2000, Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO and was succeeded by Harvard friend and longtime Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer. Gates assumed the new role of chief software architect. In 2008 Gates left his “daily” job at Microsoft but retained his position as board chairman until 2014, when he stepped down as chairman but retained a board seat and began serving as technology adviser.
Gates has stated that he plans to give away 95 percent of his fortune to charity, but as you might expect from someone named “world’s richest man” by Forbes for 16 of the past 21 years, he’s also made his share of lavish purchases. Topping that list are the $36 million he paid for the Winslow Homer painting “Lost on the Grand Banks,” and $30 million for a Leonardo da Vinci journal known as the Codex Leicester. He also shelled out $21 million for a private jet, an understandable expenditure for a man with so much global business. And then there’s his estate in Medina, Washington: Valued at more than $120 million and nicknamed “Xanadu 2.0,” the 66,000-square-foot behemoth has a private beach, an Art Deco home theater, a 60-foot pool with an underwater sound system and. . .wait for it. . .a trampoline room.
Interesting Facts about Bill Gates
Bill’s nickname as a child was “Trey” which was given to him by his grandmother.
He scored a 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT.
At first Microsoft had a hyphen in the name “Micro-soft”. It was a combination of microcomputer and software.
When Microsoft first started out, Gates would look at every line of code before a new software product shipped.
In 2004, Gates predicted that email spam would be gone by 2006. He was wrong on that one!
He was dubbed an honorary knight by Queen Elizabeth. He does not use the title “Sir” because he is not a citizen of the United Kingdom.