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Bill Gates

Grade: 5 | Year: 2008

Do you know who the richest man in the world is? What about the founder of Microsoft? Or the man who founded a foundation that helps poor families around the world? This amazing man is the one and only Bill Gates.

Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955 to William H. Gates II, his father and Mary Gates, his mother.

In elementary school, he excelled in almost everything; his teacher’s were very proud of him and thought he should attend the Private Lakeside School. This school was very expensive. It cost about $20,000 for your tuition.

At Lakeside he met Paul Allen and when they were 13 they both became very interested in computing.

The school purchased computer time from a local computer company to support Bill and Paul’s interest in computers. The school hoped to purchase enough time to last the school year but Bill and Paul used it up in a week. They spent many nights in the computer room and many days sleeping in class.

They liked to program and use computers so much that they offered Computer Company’s to find bugs in their software in exchange for free computer time.

Bill Gates spent a lot of his time on these computers learning early programming languages such as BASIC, FORTRAN and Lisp. It was very hard for Bill to learn them as there were not many books or classes on learning these programming languages.

In 1972 Bill and Paul founded Traf-O-Data, a company that designed and built computerized car counting machines for traffic analysis. The Intel Company later offered Bill an 8008 microprocessor for him to try. He really liked this processor and used it a lot for his company Traf-O-Data.

In 1973, Gates entered Harvard University to learn more about computers with Paul Allen.

In 1975, Bill and Paul developed a version of the BASIC programming language for the Altair 8800, which was the first personal computer. They licensed the software to the MITS Company and formed Microsoft to develop versions of BASIC for other computer companies.

In 1980, Bill closed a deal with the IBM Company to allow them to use Microsoft’s newest software MS-DOS, a version of QDOS that Bill’s company has purchased earlier, for the newest IBM personal computer. The success of the IBM personal computer made MS-DOS an industry standard. Microsoft’s revenues skyrocketed as demand for this operating system increased.

In 1986, Bill’s company decided to start selling MS-DOS to not only businesses but to the public.

When Bill Gates was 31 he became the youngest ever self made billionaire.

Surely, in the 1990’s he became even richer. This is because he and his company developed the Windows operating system which featured sound and a Graphical user interface, and he also created software with his company called Microsoft Office during that time. This software also sold billions of copies worldwide so Bill Gates got richer and richer.

Bill Gates got married to Melinda Gates in 1999 and they started the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation which helps poor families around the world since he is so rich.

Bill Gates has also written a book called Business @ The speed of thought which explains how computers can become an essential business tool and another book called The Road Ahead which explains how computers can become a useful tool for personal use.

Bill Gates currently serves as Microsoft’s founder and the founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; also, Bill Gates took the role of chief software architect at Microsoft. Bill Gates also has $160 billion which is 40% of all Americans combined.

So next time you sit down at a computer running Microsoft Windows or DOS think of how hard Bill Gates and Microsoft worked to make it possible for you to have an easy and fun experience using the computer.