Happy Birthday, Bill!
On 28 October 2015 the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, celebrated his 60th anniversary. According to Forbes magazine for the 22nd time he was recognized as the wealthiest American.
William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American business magnate, philanthropist, investor, computer programmer, and inventor. Bill Gates was born in 1955 in Seattle, his father was a lawyer and his mother was a schoolteacher. At the age of 13 he took an interest in programming and already in the school years started to earn money by making software projects with his friends. Thus in 1975 together with his school friend Paul Allen he created the company Micro-Soft, later renamed to Microsoft. After having finished the third year of studies Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University in order to devote time to the work in his company. The company’s first major transaction was the sale of the operating system MS -DOS for the IBM PC. In 1985 the first version of the operating system Windows was released, and already in 1990 the version Windows 3.0 became popular among users.
Thus, Microsoft had gained a stronger position in the market and by the mid 90s it became difficult for other software vendors to compete with it. Later the mass use of Internet led the company to the creation of the browser Internet Explorer, which has become integral part of Windows 98 allowing drive other developers of web browsers out of the market and caused the antitrust prosecution of the corporation.
In 1998 Gates vacated a seat of President of Microsoft and in 2000 stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. At that time Bill began his charitable work. Together with his wife he created the charitable Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the largest in the world. The work of the foundation is aimed at supporting and improving the health care system and hunger mitigation in poor countries. The funds were spent to programs for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria control, the projects on children immunization in India and Africa.
In the United States the priority of the Foundation is the program for the improvement of the education system. Since 2009 the Foundation has been allocating funds for improving distance learning methods in the US, support for advanced multimedia learning materials and creation of interactive classrooms. In autumn 2009 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation allocated a grant of 25 million dollars to Ukraine for the computerization of public libraries.
Cooperation with Rotary International holds a special place in charitable activity of the Gates’s family. Bill and Melinda allocated 255 million dollars to this organization for the fight against polio. “Either we eradicate polio, or we return to the days of tens of thousands of cases per year. That is no alternative at all” - said Mr. Gates. This initiative was joined by the governments of the UK and Germany that allocated to Rotary International for the same purpose 150 and 130 million dollars respectively.
Bill Gates is one of the champions on the size of the funds transferred to the charity, from 1994 to 2010 he invested in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation more than $ 28 billion. He is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Seattle (USA ).
By Olga Lauman
Translated by Olga Androsova