The Who2 Blog

The Day Bill Gates Made His First $350 Million

Well, it seemed like a big deal at the time.

Fortune reprints its story on the Microsoft IPO in 1986.  Bill Gates cleared $1.6 million in cash, but his 45% stake in Microsoft also became worth $350 million.  He was 30 years old.

“Gates, a gawky, washed-out blond, confesses to being a ‘wonk,’ a bookish nerd, who focuses singlemindedly on the computer business though he masters all sorts of knowledge with astounding facility. Oddly, Gates is something of a ladies’ man and a fiendishly fast driver who has racked up speeding tickets even in the sluggish Mercedes diesel he bought to restrain himself.”

Bill Gates is worth $56 billion now, of course, according to Forbes.  He’d be worth $86 billion or more if he hadn’t given away $30 billion to charity in the last few years.

$30 billion to charity. That is truly wonderful.

As it is, the charity giving has moved him down to #2 on the worldwide billionaires list for 2011, behind Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helu.

Read our full biography of Bill Gates >>

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Comments ( 2 )

  • What a decent human being, giving all that money away to help people he does’nt know, who else would be that generous????

    • I agree. It’s too bad that so much of our wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, but Gates has been a leader in giving it away — and trying to do so in the smartest way. Good for him!

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