Facts about Bill Gates
Bill Gates Biography
Bill Gates is the co-founder of the software company Microsoft and is one of the world’s wealthiest men.
Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft in the 1970s, though Allen left the company in 1983. Bill Gates oversaw the invention and marketing of the MS-DOS operating system, the Windows operating interface, the Internet Explorer browser, and a multitude of other popular computer products. Along the way he gained a reputation for fierce competitiveness and aggressive business savvy.
During the 1990s, rising Microsoft stock prices made Gates the world’s wealthiest man, and he became a popular symbol of the ascendant computer geek of the late 20th century. (In 2019, his wealth passed the $100 billion mark.) In June of 2006, Gates announced that he would step down from day-to-day involvement in Microsoft by July of 2008. He did so and was succeeded as CEO by Steve Ballmer.
Gates remained chairman of the Microsoft board while focusing on his charitable foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It is especially focused on global health issues, especially on preventing malaria and AIDS in poor countries. In 2014, Ballmer was succeeded as CEO by Satya Nadella, and Bill Gates, while remaining on the Microsoft board of directors, stepped down as its chairman. Gates then stepped down from the board entirely in 2020.
Bill Gates married Melinda French, a Microsoft employee, on January 1, 1994. The couple have three children: daughters Jennifer Katharine (b. 1996) and Phoebe Adele (b. 2002), and son Rory John (b. 1999). Bill and Melinda Gates announced on May 3, 2021, that they had agreed to divorce after 27 years of marriage. In a joint statement, they said “[we] will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
For their philanthropic activities, Time magazine named Bill Gates and Melinda Gates (along with rock star and activist Bono) its Persons of the Year for 2005.