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Bill Gates is an American computer engineer and philanthropist who founded the computer software company Microsoft.
Gates founded Microsoft, originally called Micro-Soft, with his partner Paul Allen on April 4th, 1975. He held the position of CEO of the company until 2000. From 2000-2006 he worked as the chief software architect, and by 2008 he remained at the company only as a chairman of the firm so he could devote more attention to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2000 based in Seattle, Washington, run by Gates, his wife Melinda, and his father William. The foundation also has locations in Washington, D.C., Delhi, Beijing, and London. As of January 2014 the foundation employs over 1,000 people and has paid over $28 billion in grants. In a letter on the foundation’s website Bil and Melinda Gates explain the its mission:
“For each issue we work on, we fund innovative ideas that could help remove these barriers: new techniques to help farmers in developing countries grow more food and earn more money; new tools to prevent and treat deadly diseases; new methods to help students and teachers in the classroom. Some of the projects we fund will fail. We not only accept that, we expect it--because we think an essential role of philanthropy is to make bets on promising solutions that governments and businesses can’t afford to make. As we learn which bets pay off, we have to adjust our strategies and share the results so everyone can benefit.”
Reddit Secret Santa
Gates participated in Reddit’s annual Secret Santa gift exchange in December 2013. His gift recipient was a Reddit user named Rachel, who received a stuffed cow, a book titled Journeys of a Lifetime , and a donation on her behalf for Heifer International. A photo of Gates holding the gifts was included among the presents to prove he really was her Secret Santa.
On February 11th, 2014, at 1 p.m. (EST) Gates hosted an Ask Me Anything on Reddit. During the AMA, which reached the front page of the site, Gates answered over 30 questions ranging from thoughts on his personal growth to who he would like to play him in a biopic. Some of the main highlights included:
Q: Hey Bill, have you made any plans to artificially prolong your life?
* A: No I don’t. Other people think about that but I wouldn’t want to extend my last few years unless that is happening for most people.
Q: Hey Bill, if you didn’t go into computers and later found Microsoft, what do you think you would be doing?
* A: I considered law and math. My Dad was a lawyer. I think though I would have ended up in physics if I didn’t end up in computer science.
Q: Who is your role model?
* A: People who devote their lives to working in poor countries are doing amazing work with very little visibility. I have gotten to meet some of them.
Q: What is your best personal financial advice for people who make under $100,000 per year?
* A: Invest in your education.
Q: What is different about Bill Gates age 20 years and today, except for the time?
* A: 20 years ago I would stay in the office for days at a time and not think twice about it – so I had energy and naivete on my side. Now hopefully I am a bit more mellow but with a little extra wisdom.
He concluded his AMA by posting a video that featured him hanging out with someone dressed as the Reddit mascot.
In a 1994 interview with Connie Chung, Gates was asked if the rumor that he could leap over a chair from a standing position was true. He demonstrated his skill by successfully leaping over the chair he had been sitting in. The clip was uploaded to YouTube by user buzzert on June 26th, 2008. Though it was originally uploaded in 2008 it went viral in fall of 2011 after sites like Buzzfeed and UpRoxx reported on it. As of January 2014 the video has more than 2.1 million views.
Dreamy Bill Gates
Dreamy Bill Gates is an advice animal featuring a picture of a young Gates draped over a computer. The captions on the picture are sexual and involve computer or Microsoft puns. The captioned picture was first submitted to the r/AdviceAnimals sub-Reddit by user ALottaHOOPLA on December 30th, 2011.The Tumblr blog sexybillgates, which posts examples of the meme, was created on December 31st, 2011.
Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates
Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates is a multi-pane webcomic series illustrating a brief exchange between Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The photographs of Jobs and Gates having a conversation were taken during a panel session hosted by All Things Digital co-executive editors Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the D: All Things Digital conference (D5) on May 31st, 2007. The iconic photograph of Gates and Jobs laughing together was taken by Joi Ito and uploaded via Flickr later that same day. However, the earliest known instance of a multi-pane comic based on Ito’s photographs didn’t emerge until it was highlighted on the Internet humor blog Sad and Useless on May 16th, 2010.
Code.org is a non-profit dedicated to getting computer coding into the circulum of more schools, with a special focus on offering coding experience to children of color and female students. Gates appeared in a video for the organization on the importance of coding for a student’s education along side other tech leaders like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and DropBox creator Drew Houston. The video was uploaded to Code.org’s YouTube channel on February 26th, 2013. As of January 2014 the video has over 11.4 million views.
Gates released his annual letter for 2014 on his foundation’s website in late January 2014. The letter is titled “3 Myths That Block Progress From the Poor,” and in it he explains these myths are: poor countries are doomed to stay poor, foreign aid is a big waste, and saving lives leads to overpopulation.
To promote the letter Gates appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and released a video featuring himself repeating “GatesLetter.com” while wearing a variety of hats and wigs. The video was uploaded to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’s YouTube channel on January 21st, and as of January 24th the video has over 800,000 views.
Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, on October 28th, 1955. He began attending Harvard University in 1973, but never graduated. He married Melinda French in 1994. The couple have three children. As of September 2013 he has a net worth of $72 billion .