Bill Gates 101: The Mastermind Behind Microsoft's Success
Zatrun Published at February 23, 2023

Bill Gates is an American businessman and philanthropist who co-founded the software and technology giant Microsoft with his childhood friend Paul Allen. During his career at Microsoft, he served as president, chief executive officer (CEO), and chief software architect. He is often referred to as one of the key entrepreneurs of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s.

Along with Microsoft, Bill Gates became one of the wealthiest men in the world. In February 2014, Gates stepped down from his role as chairman of Microsoft to focus on his private foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and charitable work. Curious to learn more about him? Keep reading this article on

Who is Bill Gates?

Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington. He grew up in an upper-middle-class family with his sister Kristianne and younger sister Libby. As a child, he was a voracious reader and spent hours reading knowledge-filled books such as encyclopaedia.

He was successful in school, but also a shy child, which worried his family. As a result, he was enrolled in a private preparatory school called Lakeside School at the age of 13. He excelled in math and science but was also successful in drama and English. During his time at the school, a company began providing students with “computer time,” which was how Gates was introduced to computers.

Gates graduated from Lakeside in 1973. He scored a 1590 out of 1600 on his college entrance exams (SATs). He wanted to pursue a career in law and enrolled at Harvard. However, Gates’ Harvard career did not last as long as he initially planned.

Gates and Microsoft

In 1975, Gates and Allen founded “Micro-Soft,” a combination of “microcomputer” and “software.” The company’s first product was BASIC software that ran on the Altair computer. With the success of this project, Gates dropped out of Harvard in his third year.

The company initially struggled, but by 1979, Microsoft had generated approximately $2.5 million in revenue. At the age of 23, Gates took over as the company’s leader. With his software development genius and superior business sense, he managed the company and was also its spokesperson. When necessary, he personally reviewed every line of code produced by the company and rewrote it himself if needed.

In the following years, Microsoft licensed its operating system, MS-DOS, to the then-largest computer supplier, the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), for use in their computer. The computer was released in 1981, and from that day on, IBM became the standard-setter in the PC industry, while MS-DOS similarly left rival operating systems behind.

In 2000, Bill Gates stepped down from his daily operations at Microsoft and handed over the CEO position to his college friend, Steve Ballmer, who had worked at Microsoft since 1980. However, he continued to work as chairman of the board of directors for some time.

In 2006, Gates decided to dedicate more time to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which he had established with his wife. He became a full-time philanthropist and has since focused on global health, education, and poverty alleviation initiatives. Today, Bill Gates is widely recognized as one of the most significant figures in the tech industry and global philanthropy.

His Wealth and Impact

Naturally, Bill Gates accumulated his wealth through Microsoft. As the company’s largest shareholder, Gates joined the billionaire class in 1986 and surpassed a net worth of $10 billion by the end of the decade. As of 2023, according to Forbes data, Bill Gates’ net worth is around $104 billion, making him the world’s seventh-richest person.

In May 2021, Bill Gates and his wife of 27 years, Melinda Gates, announced their divorce. During the divorce proceedings, Gates transferred about $6 billion worth of publicly traded stocks to his wife.

Bill and Melinda Gates

Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates establish the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an American private foundation. It, headquartered in Seattle, Washington, began operations in 2000 and is said to be the second-largest philanthropic organization in the world, with assets approaching $50 billion. Gates made headlines on his 43rd birthday when he donated $1 billion to the foundation.

The foundation’s goal is to improve global health, reduce extreme poverty, and expand educational opportunities and access to information technology in the United States.

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