Bill Gates, the American entrepreneur, Software developer, and investor was born in 1955 in Seattle, Washington, United States. As a child, Gates used to read encyclopedias. At the age of 13, he joined the Lakeside school. There he started to have some interests in programming the General Electric system in BASIC. In fact, his programming skills were noticed by his school members; he wrote his first computer program on a general electric computer. A tic-tac-toe program that allowed users to play against the machines. Moreover, he managed to build a computer program for scheduling students in classes. This intelligent guy graduated from Lakeside in 1973, scoring 1590/1600 on the college SAT test.
At Lakeside School, 15 years old Gates met his friend Paul Allen. They worked together to develop “Traf-o-Data ” the program that monitored traffic patterns in the area of Seattle. Thus, they gained about $20,000 for their hard work.
After graduation, Gates enrolled at Harvard University in the academic year of 1973 to study law. However, he dropped out of college after two years in order for him to conduct his business, with his partner and friend of school Allen.
The beginning of Microsoft
They met the MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) – the creators of the new microcomputer and eventually dealt with each other for the distribution of Gates and Allen’s interpreter.
Gates and Allen worked at the Harvard University computer lab to develop the software for the first microcomputers. Through adapting the BASIC software – a famous programming language used in large computers- and succeeded in spite of facing lots of challenges and difficulties.
Allen was hired at MITS, and Gates soon left Harvard to work with him. They made a great success that paved the way for them to form their company “Microsoft” in 1975. Their company made their BASIC software as a first product. They launched an operating system called MS-DOS for the company of (IBM) for the purpose of the use of this operating software for its first personal computer. Furthermore, they were able to come up with several products for various firms in the field of the technology industry which helped them in making a profit of $50,000.
Their company, “Microsoft”, has witnessed many accomplishments. Such as the invention of the first mouse for personal computers. In addition to the development of the Windows Operating System Platform that is used for networking non-computer devices such as personal digital assistants and televisions. Actually, this operating system called “Windows” was the reason behind Gates’ great wealth.
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The first Windows operating system that got launched was Windows NT. A few years later, a series of Windows were produced, such as Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, XP, and Vista. Ever since Microsoft has been growing and expanding its product from Windows OS to Microsoft Office Suites, Office 365, Xbox, Bing, Hotmail, and more.
In 1986, Gates took Microsoft public with $21 per share and held 45 percent of the company’s 24.7 million shares. Making his stake at that time near $234 million of Microsoft’s $520 million in total. Subsequently, he became the youngest millionaire at the age of 31. Also the richest man in the world for 13 years in a row from 1995 to 2008.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
However, in 2014, he decided to step down as Microsoft’s chairman. But he remained on the board and began serving as a technology advisor. In order to focus on philanthropic work at his own foundation, “the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”. He launched the foundation in 1994 after selling some of his shares in Microsoft. It became the wealthiest foundation all over the world, with assets valued at more than $34.6 billion.
The main goal of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is to support education, world health programs, and investments in low-income communities worldwide. It also handles domestic issues such as helping students in the United States to become ready for college.
By given more than $28 billion to charity, Bill and Melinda Gates got the title of the second most generous philanthropist in the United States, in 2007.
Gates has received the Time magazine award naming him one of the most influential people of the 20th century. In addition, the magazine named Gates along with his wife Melinda and the singer Bono the 2005 Persons of the Year.
In 2006, the Mexican government awarded the couple with the Order of the Aztec Eagle for their philanthropic work on a global scale in the domains of health and education.
Additionally, in 2016, they were again notable for their philanthropic work. Especially when President Barack Obama gave them the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Unfortunately, after spending a great number of years together, the pair announced the end of their marriage in May 2021.
Despite the immense wealth that Gates has, he claimed that his three kids will only inherit $10 million each. Which is a fraction of his $100.6 billion net worth. Because he thinks that “Leaving kids massive amounts of money is not a favor to them.” As he said.
In fact, Gates is an influential figure to many. There are plenty of things that we can learn from his life and success that are now in front of the whole world, forming an integral part of society. His story teaches us to focus on our goals, and make efforts in order to persistently pursue them very soon.