William Henry Gates III, more commonly known as Bill Gates, was born in 1955 in Seattle, Washington.
Gates started showing his interest in computer programming at the young age of 13 while attending Lakeside School. He graduated the preparatory school in 1973 as a National Merit Scholar and enrolled in Harvard College that same year. He did attempt a college education to pursue that passion, but ended up dropping out after two years to focus on his own computer software company.
Bill Gates is best known for starting Microsoft Corporation, a technology company headquartered in Washington, alongside his friend Paul Allen. Gates served as CEO of Microsoft from 1981 until 2000, and served as Chairman of the Board from 1987 until 2014. Currently, Gates is still involved with Microsoft, but serves as a technology adviser and doesn’t stay in the office for day to day operations.
Gates has been an independent director with Berkshire Hathaway since 2005. Before his involvement with Berkshire, Gates and Buffett were good friends who enjoyed a nice game of bridge together. At his time of appointment, it meant that the two richest men in the world would be serving on the Berkshire board together. Gates was appointed in result of the death of Buffett’s first wife, Susie, and he has promised to keep Berkshire great as long as he can— even after Buffett’s death. Other boards that Gates serves on include TerrPower Llc, Corbis Images LLC, and Cascade Investment LLC.
Now, Gates spends more of his time focusing on his position as Co-Chair for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which was established in 2000. Upon its startup, Bill and Melinda donated $1 billion to help 20,000 young adults further their education. Other notable contributions from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation include $10 billion to help provide vaccines to poor countries all over the world, $5.5 billion to eliminate polio in the world, and starting the Giving Pledge with Warren Buffett, where the worlds wealthiest people commit to donating their worth upon their death.