Bill Gates is a name that is synonymous with computer technology, genius, and money. Bill Gates is presently one of the richest men in the world who amassed a fortune by developing computer software that changed the world. Bill Gates is presently regarded as an inventor, programmer, and business magnate but he is more than that—he is a visionary that seeks to help improve the quality of life for people around the world. Aside from being a smart business man and investor, Bill Gates is also a philanthropist who constantly seeks ways to update his programs and apply the latest technology to help people improve conditions across the globe. As a software architect, Bill Gates has authored and co-authored several books and gives speeches at numerous conferences and schools across both the nation and the globe.
William Henry “Bill” Gates (the third) was born in Seattle, Washington, on October 28th, 1955. Bill’s father, William Gates, Sr., was a lawyer and his mother, Mary Maxwell Gates, served on the board of directors at the United Way charitable foundation. Bill was the middle child and the only boy in a family of three children. When Bill was young his parents promoted the idea of a law career to him but, when Bill showed an extreme proficiency for technical subjects, the idea of him becoming a lawyer was quickly abandoned.
When Bill Gates was 13 years old he attended a prep school called the “Lakeside School” where he discovered a Teletype Model 33 computer and a General Electric (GE) computer and he took an immediate interest in programming the GE system in BASIC. The adults around him were not ignorant of his talents and a teacher even excused Bill from math class so that the boy could pursue his computing interests. On this machinery, Bill wrote his first computer program: a game of tic-tac-toe that enabled users to play against the computer.
In 1973, Bill enrolled at Harvard but he dropped out a year later to start his own business with his high school friend, Paul Allen. In April of 1974, when Bill was only 20 years old, he and Paul Allen founded Microsoft. Microsoft created computer software that enhanced the tasks that computers were capable of performing. For the first ten years of its existence, Microsoft worked to build a name for itself among computer companies. In 1980 Microsoft partnered with IBM and, in 1985, Microsoft launched its first retail version of Microsoft Windows. When home computers (also known as personal computers) became extremely popular in the 1990s Microsoft became one of the most desired products in the world and, with that, Bill Gates earned the bulk of his wealth. Presently, Bill Gates is at the top of Forbes list of the world’s richest people and, although officially retired, he retains his position at Microsoft as a non-executive chair.
Aside from being an inventor and a business tycoon, Bill Gates is also a dedicated family man. In January 1994 he wed Melinda French and together they have three children named Jennifer, Rory, and Phoebe. They reside in Washington state. Melinda, like Bill, is passionate about charity work and together they started “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation” that aims to enhance healthcare, reduce poverty, and expand educational opportunities (especially focusing on finding ways to give even disadvantaged students access to information technology). For more information see: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/
Bill Gates is living proof that intelligence can lead to both success and the creation of inventions that change the world. By focusing on finding ways to make computer technology enhance the living conditions of people around the world Bill Gates has done a tremendous service to society and he will be acknowledged in history as being one of the forefathers of the Age of Information.