1955-10-28 to Present
Seattle, Washington, U.S.William Henry Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, investor, author, philanthropist, and humanitarian. He is best known as the principal founder of Microsoft Corporation.
Gates did not have a definite study plan while he was a student at Harvard, and he spent a lot of time using the school's computers. Gates remained in contact with Paul Allen, and he joined him at Honeywell during the summer of 1974. The MITS Altair 8800 was released the following year. The new computer was based on the Intel 8080 CPU, and Gates and Allen saw this as the opportunity to start their own computer software company. Gates dropped out of Harvard at this time.
Gates took a leave of absence from Harvard to work with Allen at MITS in Albuquerque in November 1975. Allen named their partnership "Micro-Soft" (a combination of "microcomputer" and "software"), with their first office located in Albuquerque.
In 1987, Gates was listed as a billionaire in Forbes magazine's 400 Richest People in America issue. He was worth $1.25 billion and was the world's youngest self-made billionaire. Since 1987, Gates has been included in the Forbes The World's Billionaires list and was the wealthiest from 1995 to 1996, 1998 to 2007, 2009, and has been since 2014. Gates was number one on the Forbes 400 list from 1993 through to 2007, 2009, and 2014 through 2017.
Gates married Melinda French on a golf course on the Hawaiian island of Lanai on January 1, 1994. They have three children. The family resides in Xanadu 2.0, an earth-sheltered mansion in the side of a hill overlooking Lake Washington in Medina, Washington.
On June 15, 2006, Gates announced that over the next two years he would transition out of his day-to-day role to dedicate more time to philanthropy. He divided his responsibilities between two successors when he placed Ray Ozzie in charge of day-to-day management and Craig Mundie in charge of long-term product strategy.