Everyone has heard his name. Bill Gates is the icon of American business and the richest man in the world.
He and his friend started their business in 1975. Now Microsoft has become the world’s largest computer software company. Although the US government has broken it up, experts say it will remain successful.
Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, USA. His home town was once famous for producing Boeing aircraft, but now it is better known as the home of Microsoft. Bill inherited a good business sense and a quick mind from his parents. His father is a lawyer. His mother was a teacher and then worked as a company director.
At school Bill’s favourite subjects were Maths and Science. At 13 he and his friend Paul Allen got interested in computers. They spent all their time writing programmes and learning about computers instead of doing their homework.
In 1973 Gates went to Harvard, America’s most famous university. Most of the time he worked on the computers in the university laboratory. He and Paul Allen wrote an operating programme for the Altair, one of the world’s first microcomputers.
Bill knew that he would revolutionize the world of computing and left Harvard before finishing his studies.
Microsoft was started in 1975 by two friends and very soon their business became successful.
In 1980, Gates bought a small company which produced an operating system called DOS. He made some changes and renamed it MS- DCS. He sold the rights to use this system to IBM. Since 1980 MS- DOS has been the standard operating system for all PCs. Microsoft has also developed such well- known programmes as Windows, Excel and Internet Explorer.
Bill has always been very ambitious and hard-working. It is the secret of his success.
In 1994 he married Melinda French, a Microsoft employee. The couple has two children: a daughter, born in 1996, and a son, born in 1999.
Bill Gates has written two books, The Road Ahead (1995) and Business and the Speed of Thought (1999). Both books are best-sellers.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has already given a lot of money to charity, and he says he plans to give away almost all of his wealth when he retires.