Magoosh GRE

Bill Gates

| January 4, 2015

Bill Gates (William Henry Gates III) was born on Oct 28th 1955, in Seattle, Washington, as the only male child of his Parents. His father, William Henry Gates II was an attorney and his mother Mary Maxwell Gates was a school teacher. (Lockwood, 2008, pg 1) From a nerdy schoolboy to an entrepreneur who established and managed Microsoft into a multibillion dollar company, to being one of the World’s leading philanthropists, Bill Gates has created such a remarkable impact on our world. With his enormous software skills and business acumen, Bill Gates has achieved a digital revolution that has literally transformed the lives of people over the last few decades. As a pioneer in the software development, Gates paved the way for the personal computing era. With personal wealth worth over $50 Billion, (Elizabeth, 2010) Bill Gates was the world’s richest person for over 15 years. Gates is one of the business tycoons whose achievements and societal impact stand out to be unparalleled in our life period. The following paragraphs will have a brief overview of his early life, the formation of Microsoft, and the charity works of Bill Gates- foundation.

Early Life
Bill Gates was a precocious child with an appetite for learning new things. It is said that the young Gates spent a lot of time reading the Encyclopedia and he finished the entire book by the time he was eight. [Jim, 1992, pg 10] The creative imagination was already shaping up in the young Gates. He developed a special liking towards Mathematics and science subjects. In 1967, when Gates was around 13 he was enrolled in the prestigious Lakeside School and here he had the opportunity to use the computer systems that were available at that time. It was here that he and his friend Paul Allen with whom he would soon cofound Microsoft developed and polished their programming skills. The friendship and collaboration between Allen and Gates developed strongly and their skills were strong enough that they soon successfully hacked into the PDP-10 system provided by the Computer center Corporation. (Lockwood, 2008, pg 6)BIll

Impressed with their programming skills, the Computer Center Corporation hired Gates, Allen and couple of their friends to help them fix the bugs in their computer program. The boys named themselves the ‘Lakeside Programming Group’. Soon the group wrote a Payroll program for ‘Information Sciences Inc’, a company located in Portland and by 14, Gates was making money out of his programming skills. (Lockwood, 2008, pg 10)

Microsoft Formation
The release of the world’s first Home computer, Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) Altair 8800 was the real breakthrough for Gates. With his mastery over BASIC language Gates called the company and told them that he and his friend had a good program written in BASIC that could be used in the Altair computer. Shortly both Allen and Gates were appointed as software development directors with MITS. This collaboration between Allen and Gates became officially incorporated in Apr 1975 as Microsoft. (Microsoft, 2010) Since then Gates was actively involved in design and development of an entire array of Operating systems and software programs that were aimed primarily for the personal Computers. On June15, 2006 Gates publicly announced his retirement from his software development role but he continues to be the chairman of Microsoft. (Schuman, 2008, pg 109)

Gates the Philanthropist
Gates continues to be the richest man in the U.S and his fortunes are estimated to be around $56 Billion in 2011. [] Growing up in an environment where both his parents were actively involved in charity and social works naturally contributed to the philanthropic attitude in Gates. The William H Gates Foundation was instituted in 1994 and this was followed by the formation of the Gates Library Foundation in 1997 with a $400 million cash contribution. [Schuman, 2008, pg 98] In 1999, William H Gates foundation was renamed Bill and Melinda gates foundation and with significant contributions from another Billionaire Warren Buffet, it is currently the single largest charitable organization in the world. As of 2011, the total Asset trust endowment accrued to $36.3 Billion and since the formation of the foundation a total of $25.36 billion has been committed for various projects. [Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2011]VBThe funds from this foundation are used for global health and global development projects in partnership with NGO’s, governments and businesses in the respective regions. For instance the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation aids in prevention and treatment of HIV, Polio, tuberculosis , Pneumonia and other critical health issues in India , China, etc. Similarly the foundation actively participates in programs for overcoming poverty, malnutrition and the treatment of preventable diseases in African continent. [Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2011] Since his retirement from active software development at Microsoft, Bill Gates has been focusing on actively supervising the projects implemented by the Gates Foundation. In 2007, Warren Buffet, a close friend and fellow business Tycoon, announced that Gates is parting with almost 85% of his personal wealth for the foundation. [Schuman, 2008, pg 111] HJ

Bill Gates is an enigma in the world of computers. He was instrumental in ushering in the personal computer era. Gates envisions a future where information would be readily accessible from a variety of devices, all networking effectively and seamlessly. He also predicts a future of Virtual organizations where increasingly people would work from their homes and work for many organizations at the same time. He perceives that telecommuting is the future of the corporate world. In his book ‘The road ahead’ he states that from business to education to entertainment, information technology is going to sweep every arena of human endeavor. This is already true and we can already feel the drastic changes that technology has effected. Though his contribution as the pioneering force behind the information technology revolution stands out unparalleled what is more notable is his enormous philanthropic drive and the eagerness to bring equality, health and happiness to the under privileged population.
1) Brad Lockwood, (2008), Bill Gates : Profile of a Digital Entrepreneur, Pub By ReadHowYouWant,

2) Elizabeth Willoughby, (July 16, 2010), Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s $600 Billion Charity Challenge, Viewed Sep 26th 2011, <>
3) Jim Erickson, (1992), Hard Drive: Bill Gates and the making of Microsoft Empire, Pub by Wiley.
4) Microsoft 2010, Microsoft Fast Facts: 1975, Viewed Sep 26th 2011, <>
5) Michael Schuman, (2008) Bill Gates: Computer Mogul and Philanthropist, Enslow Publishers Inc.
6) Ruth Strother, (2008), Bill Gates, ABDO Publishing.

7), Bill Gates Net Worth, viewed Sep 26th 2011, < >

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