Born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington, William H. Gates III was the second child and only son of his parents, William Henry Gates Jr. and Mary Maxwell. His father is a prominent Seattle attorney, and his late mother was a school teacher, regent at the University of Washington and chairperson of the United Way International. Kristi, his older sister, later became his tax accountant and Libby, his younger sister, lives in Seattle raising her two children. (Bill Gates Biography) As a child, Gates was a lot like other boys his age, participated in sports, joined the Cub Scouts, and spent summers with his family in Bremerton, Washington.
His parents had planned a career in law for him, and sent him to Seattle’s Lakeside School, a private school which they hoped would be more challenging for their son’s intellectual drive and curiosity. However, here he developed a keen interest in computer science and began studying computers in the 7th grade along with Paul Allen, who would eventually become one of his business partners. (Bill Gates Biography) Gates entered Harvard University in 1973 to study pre-law. By 1975, Gates had decided to pursue a career in computer software and dropped out of Harvard. Gates, Bill – Overview, Personal Life, Career Details, Social and Economic Impact, Chronology) Gates’ competitive drive and fierce desire to win has made him a powerful force in business, but it has also consumed much of his personal life. In the six years between 1978 and 1984, he took a total of only two weeks’ vacation. But on January 1, 1994, Bill Gates married Melinda French, a Microsoft manager from Dallas, Texas and together they have three children: daughter Jennifer Katharine Gates born 1996, son Rory John Gates born 1999, and daughter Phoebe Adele Gates born 2002. In his leisure time Gates enjoys reading, playing golf, and bridge. Bill Gates – Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia, 2011).
The Gates’ home, an earth-sheltered house in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina is a 66,000 sq ft estate which houses a 60-foot swimming pool with an underwater music system, a 2,500 sq ft gym and a 1,000 sq ft dining room. Gates was number one on the Forbes 400 list from 1993 through to 2007 and number one on Forbes list of The World’s Richest People from 1995 to 2007 and 2009. (Bill Gates – Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia, 2011) Gates’ personal charitable initiative, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ndowed with more than $28. 8 billion (as of January 2005), (Bellis) has focused on global health issues, especially on preventing malaria and AIDS in poor countries. For their philanthropic activities, Time magazine named Bill and Melinda Gates its Persons of the Year for 2005.
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