William Henry Gates III or known as Bill Gates is the co-founder of Microsoft, the largest personal computer software company. He is currently the richest man in the world with a net worth of $72 Billion. He is an American businessman, investor, inventor and a philanthropist.
Net Worth: $72 Billion
Born: Oct 28 1955 (Age 57)
World's Richest Man
Gates has been consistently ranked as the richest person in the world according to Forbes. Recently, he overtook Carlos Slim Helu and regained the No.1 title with a net worth of $72 Billion. Gates is the wealthiest man on earth in 2013. He last held this position from 1995 to 2007. He has also been the wealthiest American for 20 years straight.
Gates co founded Microsoft, a personal computer software company with Paul Allen. Gates stepped down as CEO of Microsoft in 2000 but still remains as chairman and chief software architect, a position he created for himself upon leaving the company. He is still the largest shareholder in the company with 6.4 percent of the common stock.
Gates role in Microsoft is mainly in management and executive role. However, in the early days he was an active software developer. In 2006, Gates announced that he will be slowly transitioning out of his day to day role over the next two years to focus on philanthropic work.
Personal Computer Revolution
Gates has been credited with revolutionizing the personal computer industry. He had a vision of making a computer available to every individual household in the world, connecting every user through a platform he created called Windows. Global market share of Windows for desktop computers is still very high at 92.2%.
Bill Gates is one of the best known entrepreneurs in the personal computer revolution. However, he has been criticized for his business tactics which promotes anti-competition and a total reliance on Microsoft's products. In the antitrust litigation, the verdict of the judge was that Microsoft had committed monopolization and tying and blocking competition which violated the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Gates founded Corbis a digital imaging company in 1989. He became a director of Berkshire Hathaway, the company of fellow billionaire and long time friend Warren Buffet in 2004.
Bill Gates and wife Melinda Gates
Gates is married to Melinda French. The couple married on January 1, 1994 and have 3 children, daughter Jennifer Katharine (born 1996), son Rory John (born 1999) and daughter Phoebe Adele (born 2002).
The family resides in a home which is valued at $125 million overlooking Lake Washington in Medina. The annual property tax is more than $1 million.
Bill Gates and family enjoying a ride
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Having been influenced by the work of Andrew Carnegie and John D Rockefeller, Gates decided to sell some of his Microsoft Stock and created the William H.Gates Foundation. In 2000, he and his wife combined three family foundations to form the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The couple has given more than $28 Billion to charity and plans to eventually donate 95% of their wealth to charity. In December 2010, Gates, Warren Buffet and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg signed a promise called Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge where they each promised to donate at least half of their wealth to charity over time.
Interesting Facts about Bill Gates