Bill Gates the “Drop out” from Rags to Riches

Bill Gates, formally the richest man in the world, is also known as a great philanthropist. He’s also known as the founder of Microsoft. Bill Gates was a drop out of school, specifically Harvard. After reading the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics that demonstrated the Altair 8800, Gates contacted Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), the creators of the new microcomputer, to inform them that he and others were working on a BASIC interpreter for the platform. In reality, Gates and Allen did not have an Altair and had not written code for it; they merely wanted to gauge MITS’s interest. MITS president Ed Roberts agreed to meet them for a demo, and over the course of a few weeks they developed an Altair emulator that ran on a minicomputer, and then the BASIC interpreter.

Demos at MITS’s offices in Albuquerque was a success and they had a deal with MITS to distribute the interpreter as Altair BASIC. Paul Allen was hired into MITS, and Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work with Allen at MITS in Albuquerque in November 1975. They named their partnership “Micro-Soft” and had their first office located in Albuquerque. Within a year, the hyphen was dropped, and on November 26, 1976, the trade name “Microsoft” was registered with the Office of the Secretary of the State of New Mexico. Gates never returned to Harvard to complete his studies.

Gates began to appreciate the expectations others had of him when public opinion mounted suggesting that he could give more of his wealth to charity. Gates studied the work of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, and in 1994 sold some of his Microsoft stock to create the William H. Gates Foundation.  Gates and his wife combined three family foundations into one and they created a charitable Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the largest operated charitable foundation worldwide.

The foundation allows benefactors access to information regarding how its money is being spent, unlike other major charitable organizations such as the Welcome Trust. The generosity and extensive philanthropy of David Rockefeller has been credited as a major influence. Gates and his father met with Rockefeller several times, and modeled their giving in part on the Rockefeller family’s philanthropic focus, namely those global problems that are ignored by governments and other organizations. As of 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were the second-most generous philanthropists in America, having given over $28 billion to charity, the couple plan to eventually donate 95% of their wealth to charity.

Bill Gates is known for his Philanthropy and riches. Indeed, this is a lesson, a lesson that says, “if we work hard, then we will succeed in life. Bill Gates proved that a school “drop out” can literally be the richest man in the world if he applies skill, hard work and talent all together. The brilliance of his achievements are admirable and indeed a stroke of “genius”. Time magazine named Gates one of the 100 people who most influenced the 20th century, as well as one of the 100 most influential people of 2004, 2005, and 2006. 

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