Sunday, January 30, 2011

William Henry “Bill” Gates III

Bill Gates was born on October 28,1955 at Seattle, Washington as the second child and only son of William Henry Gates Sr. a prominent lawyer and Mary Maxwell, former board of director of United Way America, a nonprofit organization. The Gates family belonged to the upper-middle class. 

He is Microsoft CEO and Chief Software Architect until 2010. He was named richest man in the world by Forbes magazine from 1995 to 2007 and 2009 (in 2008 the richest man in the world was his best friend, Warren Buffet and in 2010 Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico).

MITS stands for Micro Instrumentations and Telemetric System. While studying at Harvard, Bill Gates was reportedly had no definite plan for his studies and would often seen spending precious time at the school’s computer area, he later met his future business partner,Steve Ballmer, at one of his computer hang-outs at Harvard, he also met computer scientist, Christos Papadimitriou. While at Harvard, he remained in contact with his high school buddy, Paul Allen. In 1975, Gates and Allen saw the release of MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU, the two saw this as an opportunity to start their computer company.

Gates and Allen started negotiating with MITS offering their innovations. MITS was amazed with their credible presentation that the owner offered Gates a job. While pondering his destiny whether to pursue school or not, his friend, Paul Allen decided to work ahead at MITS headquarter at Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gates, realizing the great opportunity with this venture, joined Allen in November 1975 and took a leave from school but he did not go back however and established Microsoft with Allen instead.


Rare family photo shown in the media of the Gateses. Bill Gates, his wife Melinda and children: Rory John, Jennifer and Phoebe

Bill and Melinda Gates foundation was established in 2000 with the help of his father, William Henry Gates Sr. now the largest charitable foundation in the world. 

In 2006 he announced to limit his workload at Microsoft to concentrate more on the foundation and transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie (chieft software architect) and Craig Mundie (chief research and strategy officer). 

He married Melinda French on January 1, 1994 and had three children, Jennifer Katharine (born in 1996), Rory John (born in 1999) and Phoebe Adele (born in 2002). Bill Gates family lived in a sprawling estate of 6,100 square feet with a $125 million worth mansion overlooking Lake Washington in Medina, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Gates also founded Corbis in 1989, a private imaging company, as a computer savvy, Gates has a passion in digital photography which he maximized with the establishment of Corbis. , bgC3, a new think-tank company founded by him.


Family Estate of Bill Gates at Medina overlooking Lake Washington

He sat as board of director of Berkshire Hathaway company in 2004, an investment company owned by Warren Buffet. Together with Buffet, he established The Giving Pledge, a nonprofit organization which encouraged America’s richest people to share their wealth on charitable causes, Gates and Buffet donated half of their fortune to charities. In 1987, at the age of 32, he was declared as the world’s youngest billionaire. 

Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. In 2005, he, his wife Melinda and U2 singer, Bono, were named Persons of the year for their dedication to Philanthropic activities. He also received honorary doctorates from Nyenrode Business University in The Netherlands, Royal Institute of Technology and Karolinska Institute in Sweden, Waseda University in Japan, Tsinghua University in China, Harvard University in the US and Cambridge University in England. He was named as the 12th Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society in 1994. 

He is made an Honorary Knight of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire of KBE by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II but because he is not a Commonwealth Citizen, Gates could not use the prestigious title of a “Sir”.

He is also awarded (with his wife) the Order of the Aztec Eagle for his humanitarian works. He also received the 2010 Bower Award for Business Leadership and honored the Silver Buffalo Award by the Boy Scouts of America. He has several investments to other companies, Cascade Investments LLC is controlled by him, Terra Power, a nuclear reactor design company.

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