Bill Gates is an American business magnate, chairman of Microsoft, philanthropist, author who has a net worth of $107 billion.
Gates has spent much of the last 20 years as the richest person in the world, though he has slipped to #2 on a handful of occasions.
Gates co-founded the software company Microsoft with Paul Allen, and is known as one of the premiere entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates graduated from Lakeside School in 1973, scoring 1590 out of 1600 on the SAT, and enrolled at Harvard College in the autumn of 1973.
With the release of the MITS Altair 8800 based on the Intel 8080 CPU, Gates and Allen saw this as the opening they needed to create their own computer software company. The creators of the new microcomputer, Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), formed a partnership with Gates and Allen using their Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter.
The trade name “Microsoft” was registered November 26, 1976. During the first five years of the Microsoft company, Gates personally reviewed every line of code the company shipped, often rewriting code as needed. On November 20, 1985, Microsoft launched its first retail version of Microsoft Windows. Gates and his wife combined three family foundations to create the charitable Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, the largest transparently operated charitable foundation in the world. Gates announced on June 15, 2006 that he would transition out of his day-to-day role at Microsoft over the next two years in order to dedicate more time to philanthropy.
Bill Gates has sold about $40 billion in Microsoft stock and collected over $12 billion in dividends since the company’s IPO in 1986. He used that money to create the holding company Cascade Investment which has continued to grow, and includes investments in companies such as Canadian National Railway and AutoNation.
Gates is quite a philanthropist and donated a $3.3 billion payout he received in 2004 to his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He still has a 1.3 percent stake in Microsoft.