William Henry Gates III was born Seattle, Washington on the 28th October 1955. He is the co-founder, with Paul Allen, of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company. Between 1995 and 2009 (excluding 2008) he was listed by Forbes as the world’s wealthiest person with an estimated worth of around $82.3 billion. This enormous wealth comes from the fact that he was one of the protagonists of the personal computer revolution. Having stepped down of as CEO and Chairman of Microsoft in 2000 he now sits as a Technical Advisor for the company. His time is now mostly spent on philanthropic operations run through his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he set up in 2000.
Engagement in Cultural Diplomacy
Bill Gates has been involved with a number of charities and foundations, including: ALS Association, in which he posted a video online as part of the viral ‘ice bucket challenge’, Children’s Vaccine Program, Children with AIDS, Earth Institute among others.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is the world’s wealthiest charitable foundation, with assets in the region of $34.6 billion. Gates’ charitable model follows the same vision as the Rockefeller family’s, as David Rockefeller was a major influence on him. The Foundation has four main divisions which it implements in 5 continents: The Global Health Division, Global Development Division, U.S Program, Global Policy & Advocacy Division. In December 2010, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet signed the Gates-Buffet Giving Pledge, in which a commitment was struck to donate at least half of their wealth over the course of time to charity. In 1999, Gates donated $20 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT) for the construction of a computer laboratory in his name.