Billionaire Bill Gates
Billionaire: William Henry Gates III
Wealth: $53.0 billion
Source of Wealth: Microsoft
Billionaire Bill Gates may be the most accomplished entrepreneur in history. This man has made himself a billionaire by creating “Microsoft,” a computer program that is used widely throughout the world.
Billionaire Bill Gates has always had a passion for computers. When he was thirteen he began to show his interest in computer programming. He and his friend Paul Allen would spend time together at their school working on different computer programs. By the age of 15, they had developed a computer program called “Traf-o-Data,” which monitored traffic patterns in the city of Seattle. This computer program earned them a net income of $20,000. Little did Gates know that he would use this talent to become a billionaire.
Current billionaire Bill Gates went to college at Harvard University with the intention of earning a degree in law. Instead he found himself spending most of his time in the computer lab. At that time he met up again with his friend Paul Allen, who showed him an Altair 8800 mini-computer kit in a magazine. The friends decided to contact the company that made these computers, called Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) and tell them that they were working on a BASIC software program for these computers. After showing the company their program and it worked perfectly, Gates left Harvard to work with Allen at MITS. The friends then formed a partnership that they referred to as Micro-Soft, which was a combination of “micro-computer” and “software.” They soon dropped the hyphen and the name became Microsoft.
The MITS company switched ownership in 1977, and at that time Paul Allen and Bill Gates had to sue the new owner in order to retain the software rights that they had developed. By the end of 1978, Bill Gates moved Microsoft to Bellevue Washington and became the head of Microsoft. Bill Gates was only 23 years old and his company was grossing $2.5 million, he was on his way to becoming a billionaire.
As the computer world grew with companies such as Apple, Intel and IBM developing hardware and components, Gates continued to market Microsoft software applications. In 1980, the company IBM needed software that they could use to run their new computer, the PC. IBM approached Microsoft and made a deal with them that Microsoft would make this new programming software for them.
Between the years of 1978 and 1981, the growth of Microsoft rapidly increased. They went from having 25 employees to having 128. The revenue increased from $4 million to $16 million, and Gates and Allen incorporated Microsoft. Bill Gates, current billionaire, became the president and chairman of the board, and Allen became the executive vice-president.
By 1983 Microsoft expanded throughout the world, having offices in Great Britain and Japan. An estimated 30% of all computers were using Microsoft software, and in 1985 the program “Windows” was introduced.
Microsoft had an initial public offering (IPO), which was $21 a share, in the year of 1986. Bill Gates became an instant millionaire by the age of 31 because he held 45% of the company’s 24.7 million shares. The company’s stock continued to rise and by 1987, Bill Gates became a billionaire when each share raised to $90.75. Ever since then, billionaire Bill Gates has been one of the worlds wealthiest people, with his wealth briefly topping $101 billion.
Billionaire Bill Gates company continued to be successful, and later in life he decided it was time to share his wealth as a billionaire. He and his wife, Melinda, established the William H. Gates Foundation in 1994. This foundation supported world health, education, and investments in low-income communities. They also formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, by contributing $28 billion to set up the foundation.
Overall, Bill Gates became a billionaire because he was motivated and had a strong business sense.