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Bill Gates - Biography and History

Bill Gates was the founder and first chairmen of Microsoft.

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Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates listens during a press conference to launch a plan aimed at saving 10 million mothers and newborns in the poorest countries

Cetty Images/Rick Gershon
Bill Gates came from a family of entrepreneurship and high-spirited liveliness. William Henry Gates III was born in Seattle, Washington on October 28th, 1955. His father, William H. Gates II, is a Seattle attorney. His late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International.

Bill Gates - Early Life

He had an early interest in software and began programming computers at the age of thirteen. In 1973, Bill Gates became a student at Harvard University, where he meet Steve Ballmer (now Microsoft's chief executive officer). While still a Harvard undergraduate, Bill Gates wrote a version of the programming language BASIC for the MITS Altair microcomputer.

Did you know that as young teenagers Bill Gates and Paul Allen ran a small company called Traf-O-Data and sold a computer to the city of Seattle that could count city traffic?

Bill Gates & Microsoft

In 1975, before graduation Gates left Harvard to form Microsoft with his childhood friend Paul Allen. The pair planned to develop software for the newly emerging personal computer market.

Bill Gate's company Microsoft became famous for their computer operating systems and killer business deals. For example, Bill Gates talked IBM into letting Microsoft retain the licensing rights to MS-DOS an operating system, that IBM needed for their new personal computer. Gates proceeded to make a fortune from the licensing of MS-DOS.

On November 10, 1983, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, Microsoft Corporation formally announced Microsoft Windows, a next-generation operating system.

On January 1, 1994, Bill Gates married Melinda French Gates. They have three children.

Bill Gates Philanthropist

Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, have endowed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with more than $28.8 billion (as of January 2005) to support philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning.

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