Entrepreneur and businessman Bill Gates (born October 28, 1955) and his partner Paul Allen founded and built the world’s largest software business, Microsoft,
through technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics. In the process, Gates became one of the richest men in the world.
In February 2014, Gates announced that he was stepping down as Microsoft’s chairman to focus on charitable work at his foundation, the Bill and Melinda GatesFoundation.
Gates married Melinda French on a golf course on the Hawaiian island of Lanai on January 1, 1994; he was 38 and she was 29.
They have three children: Jennifer Katharine (b. 1996), Rory John (b. 1999), and Phoebe Adele (b. 2002). The family resides in amodern design mansion, which is an earth-sheltered house in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina nearSeattle in Washington state, United States.
According to 2007 King County public records, the total assessed value of the property (land and house) is $125 million, and the annual property taxes are $991,000.
The 66,000 sq ft (6,100 m2) estate has a 60-foot (18 m) swimming pool with an underwater music system, as well as a 2,500 sq ft (230 m2) gym and a 1,000 sq ft (93 m2) dining room.
Bill was a voracious reader as a child, spending many hours poring over reference books such as the encyclopedia.
Around the age of 11 or 12, Bill’s parents began to have concerns about his behavior.
He was doing well in school, but he seemed bored and withdrawn at times, and his parents worried he might become a loner.
Though they were strong believers in public education, when Bill turned 13, they enrolled him at Seattle’s exclusive preparatory Lakeside School.
He blossomed in nearly all his subjects, excelling in math and science, but also doing very well in drama and English.
While at Lakeside School, a Seattle computer company offered to provide computer time for the students. The Mother’s Club used proceeds from the school’s rummage sale to purchase a teletype terminal for students to use.
Bill Gates became entranced with what a computer could do and spent much of his free time working on the terminal.
He wrote a tic-tac-toe program in BASIC computer language that allowed users to play against the computer.
Gates graduated from Lakeside in 1973.
He scored 1590 out of 1600 on the college SAT test, a feat of intellectual achievement that for several years he boasted about when introducing himself to new people.
Gates enrolled at Harvard University in the fall of 1973, originally thinking of a career in law. But his freshman year saw him spend more of his time in the computer lab than in class.
Gates did not really have a study regimen. Instead, he could get by on a few hours of sleep, cram for a test, and pass with a reasonable grade.
Much to his parents’ dismay, within two years Gates dropped out of college in 1975 to pursue his business, Microsoft, with partner Paul Allen.
In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen formed Micro-Soft,
a blend of “micro-computer” and “software” (they dropped the hyphen to Microsoft within a year).
Although the company started out on shaky footing, by 1979 Microsoft was grossing approximately $2.5 million,
and, at the age of 23, Gates placed himself as the head of the company.
With his acumen for software development and a keen business sense, he led the company and worked as its spokesperson.
Gates personally reviewed every line of code the company shipped, often rewriting code himself when he saw it necessary.
Following the development of software for IBM, between 1979 and 1981 Microsoft’s growth exploded.
Staff increased from 25 to 128, and revenue shot up from $2.5 million to $16 million. In mid-1981, Gates and Allen incorporated Microsoft, and Gates was appointed president and chairman of the board.
Allen was named executive vice president