* Bill Gates’s father was a senior lawyer, and his mother was a bank executive.
* In 1973 Gates enrolled at Harvard University, where he studied mathematics and computer science. In 1976 he dropped out of school and founded the Microsoft Corporation when he signed a contract to develop a new operating system for Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems. Microsoft subsequently became the software industry’s dominant manufacturer in 1980, when it contracted to develop a BASIC operating system for IBM.
* Gates stepped down from the day-to-day operations of Microsoft in 2000, turning over the job of CEO to Steve Ballmer, who had been with the company for twenty years. Gates remained chairman of the Microsoft board of directors, however, and also became the company’s chief software architect. Over the next few years, he devoted an ever-increasing share of his time to his charitable foundation, and by 2006 he had stopped working full-time for Microsoft. In February 2014, Gates announced that he was stepping down as Microsoft chairman in order to move into a new role as technology adviser.
* In a February 2017 interview, Gates suggested that government should try to “slow down the speed” of automation by “rais[ing] the tax level” on companies that use robots to replace human workers. “Certainly there will be taxes that relate to automation,” said Gates. “Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”
* Gates currently holds a personal fortune of $89.2 billion.