What you didn’t know about Bill Gates

Born on October 28, 1955, William Henry Gates the third co-founded Microsoft in 1975. Since its inception, Microsoft has gone on to become the largest PC software company in the world and Bill Gates is now the wealthiest man on the planet. The Gates name is synonymous with wealth and enterprise but here are a few lesser-known facts about the man at the helm of Microsoft:

  1. Many people are already aware that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had a tumultuous relationship. Apparently Gates was once made to wait over an hour for a meeting with Jobs, who was acting out of malice. What you might not know is that despite the animosity between the two men, Steve Jobs kept a letter from Bill Gates on his bedside table as his cancer became progressively worse.
  2. In 2014 Steve Ballmer overtook Bill Gates as the leading individual shareholder in Microsoft. Ballmer’s estimated net worth is 22.7 billion US dollars.
  3. The home Gates had built in Washington is 66,000 square feet in size and boasts 24 bathrooms, a massive trampoline room and six kitchens. Gates pays over 1 million US dollars each year in property taxes.
  4. Bill Gates is the proud father of three children. Two daughters, Jennifer and Phoebe, as well as a son called Rory. Although Forbes estimates Bill Gates’ net worth at 79.2 billion US dollars, it is said that Gates does not believe in leaving massive inheritances for his children, who are set to inherit 10 million dollars each.
  5. Two years after enrolling at Harvard University, Bill Gates became a dropout. Thirty-two years later Gates would receive an honorary degree from the same institution from which he dropped out.
  6. Gates is a good friend of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who nominated Gates for the infamous Ice Bucket Challenge, a craze that swept across the globe in 2014. Gates along with Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet signed a pledge in 2010 in which they each promised to hand half their wealth to charity.
  7. Bill Gates has been arrested twice, both times for traffic violations. First in 1975 when he was arrested for driving without a licence and skipping a stop in the US state of New Mexico. The second time in 1977 after being caught speeding.
  8. Gates officially became a millionaire at the age of 31.
  9. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester was bought by Gates in 1994 for the sum of 30 million US dollars. A number of pages from the Codex were used as a screen savers for Windows 95.
  10. Bill Gates attended a private school as a child, this school was one of the few schools in the US with computer access. Apparently a tic-tac-toe game was the first program he ever used.
  11. Rumour has it that while at prep school Gates hacked the schools computers and placed himself in classes with mostly female students.
  12. Gates has said that by the year 2035 there will no longer be poor countries in the world.
  13. After meeting in 1987, Bill Gates and Melinda French began dating. The couple dated for a number of years and eventually got married in Hawaii in 1994, on New Year’s Day. Melinda and Bill met a short while after she found employment as a product marketing manager with Microsoft.
  14. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 1999, is now the largest private charitable organisation in the world. The foundation seeks to resolve issues such as disease, poverty and literacy.
  15. Gates is quoted as saying “success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”