BY ROY ALBERT ANDRADE, K1LLER, Inc.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - Bill Gates was born October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington. The son of a prominent lawyer, and businesswoman who served on the boards of a considerable number of large-scale corporations. At the tender age of thirteen he became fascinated with computers, and developed his first Tic-Tac-Toe game. In late January of 1975, Paul Allen was flipping through the pages of Popular Electronics, a consumer electronics magazine started by Ziff-Davis, LLC, and showed Bill Gates, a Harvard University undergraduate, something that would change his life forever - an Altair 8800 kit.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, one of the world's largest publicly traded company and software maker, headquartered in Richmond, Washington, on April 4, 1975. Allen left Microsoft in December of 1982, and eventually became one of the world's richest men by holding onto his shares years after his resignation. The now 61-year-old continued to excel without a minute to spare, and on March 13, 1986, Microsoft had its initial public offering, which made him close to $350 million dollars. If one hundred shares were purchased on March 13, 1986, and held until October 13, 2017, they would be valued at an estimated $2,221,056.00 with a 79,223% return on investment. On May 22, 1990, Windows 3.0 appeared on dealer shelves, and competed with Steve Job's Apple Macintosh. Sales of Windows 3.0 reached a total of $1,183,446,000 at the end of the year, and made Microsoft a household name.
In 1995, Microsoft hired Wieden+Kennedy, an advertising agency, and began running television commercials featuring The Rolling Stones, an English Rock band formed in London, to promote Windows 95 with a $200 million television advertising budget. It was the first time Mick Jagger, an English singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist had sold rights to "Start Me Up," or any song to advertisers. On November 15, 2001, Xbox, a video game console, appeared on store shelves, and competed with Sony's PlayStation, and Nintendo's consumer electronics. Since 1994, Microsoft has made investments and acquisition announcements. For example, Black Entertainment Television, Comcast, CareerBuilder, TelMex, Expedia.com, Corel, Immersion Corp., and Facebook to name a few.
Today, Bill Gates is the Chairman of the Board at Microsoft, and remains one of the company's major shareholders. He is the richest man in would world, and has a net worth of approximately $89.2 billion. Not only does Gates focus on technological advancements, but fights global poverty, global health, global development, advancing philanthropy, and U.S education through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (GF). The GF was launched 17 years ago as of this writing, and has become one of the biggest charitable foundations in the world. The foundation employs 1,453 people, has a trust endowment of $40.3 billion, and supports work in more than 95 countries.
On June 26, 2006, Warren Buffett, financial genius, and founder of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., made headlines when he signed a legal document detailing his pledge to the foundation. A whopping 10 million shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., worth roughly $31 billion dollars in annual installments among grants, and donations from some of the world's wealthiest business leaders. The impact of Warren’s generosity will not be fully understood for decades. As we move forward with the work, we do so with a profound sense of responsibility. Working with Warren and with our partners around the world, we have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive difference in people’s lives.” Bill and Melinda Gates commented.
"Here’s one of our favorite charts. It shows that the number of childhood deaths per year has been cut in half since 1990," Melinda Gates shared.
"More children survived in 2015 than in 2014. More survived in 2014 than in 2013, and so on. If you add it all up, 122 million children under age five have been saved over the past 25 years. These are children who would have died if mortality rates had stayed where they were in 1990," Bill Gates explained.
"Saving children’s lives is the goal that launched our global work. It’s an end in itself. But then we learned it has all these other benefits as well. If parents believe their children will survive—and if they have the power to time and space their pregnancies—they choose to have fewer children," Melinda Gates added.
"Remember the laugh we had when we traveled together to Hong Kong and decided to get lunch at McDonald’s?" Bill asked Melinda Gates. "You offered to pay, dug into your pocket, and pulled out…coupons! Melinda just found this photo of me and “the big spender.” It reminded us how much you value a good deal. That’s why we want to point you to this number, $122 million. Saving children’s lives is the best deal in philanthropy."
The main objective of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is to lower inequities, and boost the lives around the globe. In order to meet these targets, the foundation concentrates on three key areas- one: global health; two: global development; three: programs in the United States that include access to technology, and education for low-income families residing in the U.S.
Shawn W. Anderson