Bill Gates is the second richest man in the world, but the most generous person and he has given away $28 billion (currency converter: £17.4bn) to charities so far. Gates is a business magnate and philanthropist, who has made his wealth as a chief executive and current chairman of Microsoft. Microsoft is the world’s largest personal computer software company, of which he owns 6.4 percent of the common stock. He has been one of the wealthiest people for years. From 1995 to 2009 he has been the number one and in 2008 he was ranked third. Since last year he has been the runner up after Carlos Slim Helu.
Gates has been criticised for his arguably anti-competitive business tactics. In some cases the court has agreed with this opinion. In 2000 he established the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, with which he started to donate large amounts of money to scientific research and charities. In the same year he stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft, but remained as chairman. In 2006 he started to work part time for Microsoft but full time for his foundation. In 2008 he had his last working day at Microsoft where he remains as non-executive chairman.
With his foundation he battles against rotavirus and pneumococcal disease, two of the world’s biggest killers. His wife Melinda went public and gave $1.1 billion to spread access to contraceptives worldwide. Together with his friend and number three in the list of richest people in the world, Warren Buffet, he recruits new members to their Giving Pledge. Members of this foundation promise to give away half of their net worth, or more, during their lifetime or after they die.
Bill Gates is 57 years old and lives in Medina, Washington where he lives with his wife Melinda Gates. They have three children.