William Henry "Bill" Gates III
(born 28 October 1955) is an American business magnate, philanthropist, investor, computer programmer, and inventor. Gates is the former chief executive and chairman of Microsoft, the world’s largest personal-computer software company, which he co-founded with Paul Allen.
He is consistently ranked in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2014—excluding a few brief periods post-2008. Between 2009 and 2014 his wealth more than doubled from $40 billion to more than $82 billion. Between 2013 and 2014 his wealth increased by $15 billion, or around $1.5 billion more than the entire GDP of Iceland in 2014.
During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, he was also the largest individual shareholder up until May 2014. Refn | group = "lower-alpha" | Gates regularly documents his share ownership through public U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission form 4 filings. His father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way. Gates's maternal grandfather was JW Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates has one elder sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had the "II" suffix.Sfn |Manes | 1994 |p= 15 Early on in his life, Gates's parents had a law career in mind for him.Sfn |Manes|1994|p = 47 When Gates was young, his family regularly attended a Congregational church. The family encouraged competition; one visitor reported that "it didn't matter whether it was hearts or pickleball or swimming to the dock ... there was always a reward for winning and there was always a penalty for losing".
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