William Henry GATES III

Primary Position Co-Chairman Age 60
Primary Company Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Birthday 28 Oct 1955
Estimated Net Worth At least $90.2 billion Residences Medina, Washington, United States
Kirkland, Washington, United States
Wellington, Florida, United States
Grand Bogue Caye, Belize District, Belize
Source Self-Made
Seattle, Washington, United States
Religion Agnostic
Ethnicity Caucasian
Alternative Names Trey Gates
Bill Gates
Marital Status Married


William Gates is a Harvard dropout who started programming computers at the age of 13. Started Microsoft in 1975, along with his childhood friend, Paul Allen. Struck a deal to install Microsoft Disk Operating System in IBM computers, followed by several new software developments that led to the growth of the company. The company was incorporated in 1981 and went public in 1986. Gates served as the CEO of Microsoft from 1981 to 2000 and also as Chief Software Architect of Microsoft. Founded Corbis in 1989, under the name Interactive Home Systems (IHS), to provide access to digital content and information by consumers, schools and libraries and in business. In 1995, started Cascade Investment, an asset management firm owned by him. Gates' last full working day at Microsoft was in 2008; he served as the Chairman until February 2014. Currently serves as a Director and Technology Advisor of Microsoft. Devotes majority of his time to philanthropic activities through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. In August 2010, Gates, Warren Buffett and other billionaires started The Giving Pledge, a public commitment to donate most of their wealth to philanthropic causes. More than 135 billionaires have made the pledge.

Education History

Institution Name Qualification Name Education Type Start Date End Date
Lakeside School Diploma High School 1973
Harvard University Dropped Out Undergraduate 1973 1975

Interesting Facts

Microsoft went public in 1985 on Gates' 30th birthday.
At his office, Gates reportedly uses three computer screens synchronized to form a single desktop to improve his productivity.
Gates has revealed that he would set limits on computer usage for his children, on an average 45 minutes a day. He also reportedly set the Vista controls to the strictest available to control the websites his children visited.
Gates reportedly demonstrates many personality traits characteristic of a person with Asperger's syndrome.
In June 2014, Gates visited the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in order to collaborate and explore the university's advent into their efforts at reducing malnutrition and water scarcity. He claimed on collaborating between the university and his foundation.
In June 2013, Gates' charity foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust reportedly bought 6.5 million shares in the British security services company, G4S, for $172 million. In June 2014, Gates sold his entire stake in G4S for a moderate profit.
In November 2014, Gates gave $1.5 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the Gates Foundation Asset Trust, an entity of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which manages the endowment's assets. It was reported that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had about $42.3 billion in assets and had distributed around $31.6 billion in grants through September 2014. By January 2015, Gates had donated around 31 million shares of Microsoft, which were worth nearly $1.3 billion, reducing his stake in the software company that he co-founded to about 3%.
In 2012, Gates presented a prize of $100,000 to the California Institute of Technology for its work on a self-contained, sun-powered system that recycles water and separates human waste into storable energy. He had also announced to fund $3.4 million for various organizations that work on solar-toilet projects bring the total investment in the "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" to around $6.5 million.
In 2008, the Bill and Melinda Foundation created the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), an organization that is a coalition of developing countries that are committed to offer financial services to people who make a living with less than $2 a day. In 2009, the AFI was launched as a project of Germany's GIZ Ministry for Development, the Gates' foundation provided an initial five-year funding worth $40 million and the German government offered $9 million. In 2014, the Gates' foundation issued another five-year grant of $25 million to make AFI an independent organization in 2018.
In 1993 Gates received the "Price Waterhouse Leadership Award" for Lifetime Achievement. Was honored with an honorary "Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire" by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005. In the same year, he was named "Persons of the Year" for his humanitarian work by TIME Magazine. In 2010, the United Nations honored Gates, Melinda Gates and the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians with United Nations "Population Award," for outstanding contribution to population issues and human welfare. He has also received numerous other awards and recognition including, "CEO of the Year" by Chief Executive Officers magazine, "Computerworld Smithsonian Award," Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society, Order of the Aztec Eagle, "Silver Buffalo Award," and "Bower Award." In 2010, Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates, received the "J. William Fulbright" Prize for International Understanding. Gates is recognized among the world's most generous philanthropists, with total contributions exceeding $28 billion.
In March 2015 Gates and Bloomberg L.P. founder Michael Bloomberg launched a $4 million anti-tobacco trade litigation fund to assist developing countries in fighting off legal challenges from tobacco companies.
Has played an important role in eradicating polio from India. In January 2012, the country announced its first polio-free year.
In 2007, Gates and the late Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Apple, appeared in a joint interview at D5, in which each praised the other's achievements.
Gates reportedly has an IQ of 160, which is believed to signify genius intelligence.
In June 2013, Gates reportedly bought an $8.7 million equestrian estate in Wellington, Florida, where his daughter reportedly would receive her training in show jumping. In March 2016, he purchased a more than four-acre property next to the equestrian estate for $13.5 million.
In his book The Road Ahead, Gates said: "Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."
In January 2014, Gates lost a chess game against 23-year-old Norwegian world chess champion Magnus Carlsen who used only nine moves to checkmate Gates in a game that lasted over a minute in the Norwegian-Swedish chat show Skavlan.
The British Broadcasting Corporation, in a January 2016 article regarding connections between delegates attending the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, linked Gates with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, noting that the two overlapped at Harvard University in the mid-1970s; Gates dropped out of the university to found Microsoft in 1975, the same year that Blankfein earned his bachelor's degree.
Gates reportedly owns a lakeside estate in Washington, where the pool is equipped with an underwater music system.
In August 2014, Gates took his family on a Mediterranean vacation off the coast of Sardinia, Italy on the world's 9th largest, 450 foot super yacht known as Serene, worth $330 million. Gates rented the yacht for $5 million a week. The yacht has a submarine and a helicopter. It has two helipads, two Jacuzzis, and four swimming pools including one indoor pool. The Serene is also equipped with a gym, health spa, a full library and a club. There is also an underwater viewing room. Gates reportedly used the helicopter to fly to a tennis court and then return to the yacht.
In February 2014, Gates in a question-and-answer session called "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit, an online social news and entertainment website, revealed that he enjoys washing the dishes himself so much that he does it every night. He said, "I do the dishes every night - other people volunteer, but I like the way I do it."
In July 2014, Gates, along with Warren Buffett, the Chairman of Omaha, Nebraska-based multinational conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, and Sheldon Adelson, the Chairman of Nevada, Las Vegas -based resort company Las Vegas Sands, criticized the U.S. Congress over its failure to revamp immigration laws. In an op-ed posted in American daily newspaper The New York Times, they wrote, "The three of us vary in our politics and would differ also in our preferences about the details of an immigration reform bill. But we could without a doubt come to together to draft a bill acceptable to each of us and it's time this brand of thinking finds its way to Washington." They believed that the U.S. should adopt a clear interest in enacting immigration legislation that would favor both immigrants living in the U.S. and for the well-being of the U.S. citizens. The response came after John Boehner, the Republican Speaker in the United States House of Representatives, did not agree to pass the bill to reform the immigration law, which was suggested by the U.S. President, Barack Obama.
In January 2015, the Republic of India honored Gates and his wife Melinda with "The Padma Bhushan" award, the country's third highest civilian award, for their contributions in the field of health.
Gates and his wife, Melinda, have two daughters, Jennifer Katharine and Phoebe Adele, and a son, Rory John. The couple reportedly bans their children from using products made by Microsoft's biggest rival Apple. Melinda once said, "The wealth from our family came from Microsoft, so why would we invest in a competitor?" Phoebe Gates was once photographed holding a music player resembling an Apple product.
Gates holds an honorary Juris Doctor degree from Harvard University.
On his Washington mansion residence, named Xanadu 2.0, Gates became fond of a 40 year old maple tree, which had grown near the home's driveway, that the tree is being monitored by a computer and water is automatically pumped into it whenever the tree becomes dry.
In January 2016, Chinese image licensing company Visual China Group (VCG) acquired the image division and content licensing unit of the Gates-founded photo library Corbis Entertainment for an undisclosed amount.
In October 2012, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reportedly signed a five-year agreement with Jeddah, Saudi Arabia-based finance institute Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for a program to fight contagious diseases and to provide food security in countries, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. In June 2014, Gates reportedly partnered with IDB to set up a $2.5-billion fund to help the poor and to fight diseases such as malaria and polio. It was said that the fund would initially start with $500 million, which would be collected as grants from donors and governments.
In October 2014, Gates reportedly purchased a 228-acre horse farm known as Rancho Paseana located in San Diego, California, from Jenny Craig, the former chairman of the eponymous weight-loss, weight-management and nutrition company, for a reported $18 million.

Interests, Passion, Hobbies

Hobby Name Description
Public Speaking Has been a speaker at various conferences.
Technology - Social Networks Active on social networks; his twitter handle is @BillGates.
Science - Medicine In March 2015, through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates reportedly invested $53 million in German biotechnology company CureVac to support the development of its technology and the construction of a production facility. The foundation and CureVac would collaborate to develop vaccines to fight infectious disease.
Writing Co-authored "The Road Ahead" and "Business @ the Speed of Thought."
Education Supports educational causes through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Sports - Golf Enjoys playing golf. In 2010, he reportedly stopped playing the sport.
Card Games - Bridge Avid card player often plays bridge with his friend, Warren Buffett.
Agriculture Supports agricultural development in African countries through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Politics Generous political donor gives primarily to Republican candidates and causes. Lifetime giving exceeds $560,000.
Reading Avid reader has a library at his home. Favorite books include "The Great Gatsby," "The Catcher in the Rye" and "A Separate Peace." His favorite business book is "Business Adventures" by American writer John Brooks. Warren Buffett, the Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and Gates' friend, reportedly lent his personal copy of Business Adventures to Gates in 1991.
Art Gates appears to have a passion for art. Owns an art collection including works by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer and Childe Hassam. Especially interested in impressionism and American art.
Firearms - Gun Rights In August 2014, Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates, donated $1 million to Initiative 594 campaign, which requires background checks on gun sales and transfers across the state of Washington.
Collectibles Purchased the Codex Leicester, a collection of scientific writings and drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, for a reported $30.8 million at an auction in 1994.
Technology Co-founded Microsoft, one of the world's largest technology companies.
Luxury Lifestyle Leads a luxurious lifestyle; owns several properties. In 2014, Gates took his family on a Mediterranean vacation off the coast of Sardinia, Italy on the world's 9th largest, 450 feet super yacht known as Serene worth $330 million. He chartered the yacht for $5 million-a-week.
Philanthropy Generous philanthropist is a Co-Chairman and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which supports various philanthropic causes. Also helped establish The Giving Pledge, a public commitment made by billionaires to donate the majority of their wealth to charity.
Environment - Climate Change As of 2015, Gates has invested about $1 billion of his personal fortune into more than 40 energy ventures such as TerraPower and QuantumScape among others that are working on battery storage, next-generation nuclear and free air carbon capture to tackle climate change and to promote renewable technology. In June 2015, he announced to spend another $1 billion over the next five years to combat climate change. In November 2015, Gates along with Facebook Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, Amazon Founder and CEO Jezz Bezos and Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson, launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a global initiative that would invest in zero-carbon energy technology around the world.
Aviation - Private Jet Gates reportedly owns two Bombardier Global Expresses. Also appears to own a Dassault Falcon 7X.
Finance - Investment Owner of Cascade Investment through which he has made investments in AutoNation, Republic Services and Canadian National Railway among others.
Sports - Tennis Enjoys playing tennis.


Giving Profile
Gates founded the William H. Gates Foundation in 1994; three years later, Gates and his wife, Melinda, created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public access computers with Internet connections to libraries in the U.S. It was renamed the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999 and in 2000 the two groups merged into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates is Co-Founder, Co-Chairman and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2012, the foundation had assets exceeding $37 billion and donated more than $3.1 billion; gives primarily to agricultural development, emergency relief, financial services for the poor, global libraries, urban poverty, water, sanitation, hygiene, global health and educational causes. Recipients include GAVI Alliance, World Health Organization, The Rotary Foundation, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, Nasscom Foundation and Malaria and the UNICEF. He is also a Co-Founder, CEO and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. In 2012, the foundation had assets exceeding $36 billion and donated more than $1.5 billion; gives primarily to health, community development and educational causes. Recipients include the United Negro College Fund, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Gates Cambridge Scholarships, Johns Hopkins University, the Children's Hospital Foundation and the Washington Education Foundation. In 1995, Microsoft started the "Libraries Online" initiative, a joint venture with the American Library Program. Through the initiative, Microsoft reportedly donated software and $17 million to more than 200 U.S. libraries. In October 2014, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $50 million to the fight against Ebola in west Africa including the zones of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The money would support research and fund Ebola care efforts that are both private and public. In October 2014, Bill Gates reportedly announced to donate over $500 million through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fight malaria and other infectious diseases in the developing world, which includes over $150 million to the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative to advance development of next-generation malaria vaccines, $29 million to the Clinton Health Access Initiative to support malaria elimination efforts in Southern Africa and the Greater Mekong Sub-region of Southeast Asia. He also announced that the foundation has boosted its annual funding for malaria by 30%. In November 2014, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged an additional $5.7 million to fight the Ebola epidemic. The foundation aims to scale up production of the treatments for the blood-based therapies and antiviral treatments project in Guinea and other Ebola-affected countries in Africa. In November 2014, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reportedly announced that all the research funded by them would be accessible by everyone for free under their new open access policy. The policy was reported to take effect from January 2017. In May 2015, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $75 million to set up disease surveillance initiative, called "Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Network (Champs)," to investigate childhood deaths in developing countries. In January 2016, Gates along with Aliko Dangote, Nigerian Entrepreneur and Founder of industrial conglomerate Dangote Group, pledged to donate $100 million to help eradicate malnutrition in Nigeria. In February 2016, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Dangote Foundation pledged to donate $42 million to eradicate polio in Nigeria by 2018. In May 2016, the foundation pledged $38 million grant to Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda Pharmaceuticals to manufacture a low-cost polio vaccine for use in developing countries. In the same month, the foundation pledged $80 million over three years to close gender data gaps and advance opportunities for girls and women around the world.

Clubs & Boards

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Known Associates

Total known associates: 130. Total known associates net worth: $348.4 billion. To view details, sign up for Wealth-X Professional or Contact Us.

Family Details

Political Interests

Party Affiliation Republican Party Political Profile Generous political donor gives primarily to Republican candidates and causes. Lifetime giving exceeds $560,000. Recipients include: John McCain, Kevin McCarthy, Maria E. Cantwell, George W. Bush, Conrad Burns, Business Software Alliance PAC, Obama Victory Fund 2012, Kerry Victory 2004, Arizona Republican Party and Washington State Republican Party.