Best Known For
Entrepreneur Bill Gates founded the world's largest software business, Microsoft, with Paul Allen, and subsequently became one of the richest men in the world.
Bill Gates - Mini Biography (3:42)
Bill Gates - Help from Mom (0:59)
Bill Gates - Charity (0:56)
Bill Gates and his partner Paul Allen built the world's largest software business, Microsoft. He became one of the richest men in the world and a major philanthropist through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
As a teenager, Bill Gates became obsessed with computers.
Mary Gates played a big part early on in the success of her son Bill and his upstart company, Microsoft.
Bill and Melinda Gates started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which helps people and organizations all over the world.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, famed entrepreneur Bill Gates began to show an interest in computer programming at age 13. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics, he and partner Paul Allen built the world's largest software business, Microsoft. In the process, Gates became one of the richest men in the world.
"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."
"Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one."
"Bill is basically unimaginative and has never invented anything, which I think is why he's more comfortable now in philanthropy than technology. He just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas."
"We are all created equal in the virtual world, and we can use this equality to help address some of the sociological problems that society has yet to solve in the physical world."
"I'm a big believer that as much as possible, and there's obviously political limitations, freedom of migration is a good thing."
"If you show people the problems and you show people the solutions they will be moved to act."
"Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren't so irritating."
"I believe that computers are the most incredible tool we can use to feed our curiosity and inventiveness—to help us solve problems that even the smartest people couldn't solve on their own."
"I've always been an optimist and I suppose that is rooted in my belief that the power of creativity and intelligence can make the world a better place."
"If being a geek means you're willing to take a 400-page book on vaccines and where they work and where they don't, and you go off and study that and you use that to challenge people to learn more, then absolutely. I'm a geek."
"It's a nice reader, but there's nothing on the iPad I look at and say, 'Oh, I wish Microsoft had done it.'"
"The technology business has a lot of twists and turns. Probably the reason it's such a fun business is that no business gets to rest on its laurels."
Bill Gates was born William Henry Gates III on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. Gates began to show an interest in computer programming at the age of 13 at the Lakeside School. He pursued his passion through college. Striking out on his own with his friend and business partner Paul Allen, Gates found himself at the right place at the right time. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics, he built the world's largest software business, Microsoft. In the process, Gates became one of the richest men in the world.
Bill Gates grew up in an upper middle-class family with two sisters: Kristianne, who is older, and Libby, who is younger. Their father, William H. Gates Sr., was a promising, if somewhat shy, law student when he met his future wife, Mary Maxwell. She was an athletic, outgoing student at the University of Washington, actively involved in student affairs and leadership. The Gates family atmosphere was warm and close, and all three children were encouraged to be competitive and strive for excellence. Bill showed early signs of competitiveness when he coordinated family athletic games at their summer house on Puget Sound. He also relished in playing board games (Risk was his favorite) and excelled at Monopoly.
Bill had a very close relationship with his mother, Mary, who after a brief career as a teacher devoted her time to helping raise the children and working on civic affairs and with charities. She also served on several corporate boards, including those of the First Interstate Bank in Seattle (founded by her grandfather), the United Way and International Business Machines (IBM). She would often take Bill along when she volunteered in schools and at community organizations.
Bill was a voracious reader as a child, spending many hours pouring over reference books such as the encyclopedia. Around the age of 11 or 12, Bill's parents began to have concerns about his behavior. He was doing well in school, but he seemed bored and withdrawn at times. His parents worried he might become a loner. Though they were strong believers in public education, when Bill turned 13, they enrolled him at Seattle's Lakeside School, an exclusive preparatory school. He blossomed in nearly all his subjects, excelling in math and science, but also doing very well in drama and English.
While at Lakeside School, a Seattle computer company offered to provide computer time for the students. The Mother's Club used proceeds from the school's rummage sale to purchase a teletype terminal for students to use. Bill Gates became entranced with what a computer could do and spent much of his free time working on the terminal.
profile name: Bill Gates profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
They spent their lives amassing millions—sometimes even billions—then promised to give most of it away. Here are a few of the wealthiest one percent who have promised the majority of their fortunes to philanthropies and charitable organizations. Through their example, maybe more moguls will take up the banners of bigger causes.
Generous Donors 10 people in this group
Facebook, Twitter, Google, iPhone— they're the names of technologies so pervasive in our 21st century lives that we've started using them as verbs. Behind these technologies are individuals whose ingenuity and enterprising spirit have profoundly changed our lives. Far from being computer nerds, these tech geniuses are billionaire celebrities, household names and the subjects of hit movies. From Steve Jobs of Apple to Mark Zuckerburg of Facebook, here are the most famous modern titans of tech.
Modern Titans of Tech 16 people in this group
Celebrities With Court-side Seats 56 people in this group
presented by Celebrities With Court-side Seats