Bill Gates (his full name is William Henry Gates III) is an American technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is most known for being one of the founders of software manufacturer Microsoft and one of the wealthiest people in the world. As of September 2017, Gates’ personal net worth is estimated to be $84 billion dollars.
Gates has a belief in higher moral code but doesn’t seem to adhere to a particular faith. “We’ve raised our kids in a religious way; they’ve gone to the Catholic church that Melinda goes to and I participate in,” Bill said in a 2014 interview (1). “I’ve been very lucky, and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that’s kind of a religious belief. I mean, it’s at least a moral belief.”
Bill has also indicated that he leans towards a more down-to-earth reason for people to believe in a higher power, “But the mystery and the beauty of the world is overwhelmingly amazing, and there’s no scientific explanation of how it came about,” he adds. “To say that it was generated by random numbers, that does seem, you know, sort of an uncharitable view [laughs]. I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don’t know.”
In 2000 Bill Gates established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which administers his personal fortune to charitable causes and scientific endeavors. The Foundation focuses on trying to eliminate extreme poverty and promote better healthcare in poorer areas of the world, and in improving education in America.
Approximately $28 billion dollars have already been donated by the Foundation (2).
Along with business investor Warren Buffett, Bill Gates co-founded The Giving Pledge. The mission of this charitable campaign is for wealthy individuals to donate at least half of their personal net wealth to charity. Over 300 people have since volunteered to do this since Gates and Buffett launched the organization in 2009.
Bill Gates appears to be a Democrat. In the runup to the 2016 election Gates gave contributions to three Democratic congressmen (3).
In 2012 Gates attended a $12,900-a-plate dinner to raise funds for Barack Obama’s second presidential campaign (4).
The tech billionaire has also stated that he wished the American government had more power to take action. In 2013 Bill said about President Obama’s administration, “Right now it feels like I wish there was slightly more power in the presidency to avoid some of these deadlocks. So I think what he (Obama) wants to do and what he’s actually able to do, the gap is so big there that it’s hard to know in some ways.” (5)
He is married to Melinda French, a former Microsoft executive. The pair married in Hawaii in 1994 and have three children: Jennifer Katharine (1996), Rory John (1999), and Phoebe Adele (2002).
In his off-time Bill likes to play golf, tennis and bridge.