William Gates Ê

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates: Microsoft from the Inside
by Jennifer Edstrom, Marlin Eller
Price: $18.39

Bill Gates (A&E Biography)
by Jeanne M. Lesinski
Price: $25.25

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William Gates

1955-

Industrialist

Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington. He was an indifferent student in public school and so was sent by his parents to private school. He went on to Harvard College, where he earned a reputation more for his late-night poker games than his studiousness. Gates dropped out of Harvard and together with his boyhood friend, Paul Allen, founded Microsoft.

Their first major "break" came in selling IBM -- a company then developing its first personal computer -- an operating system that they did not as yet own, but promptly acquired from Seattle Computer for a relatively modest sum.

IBM agreed to allow Microsoft to sell the operating system MS-DOS to other computer manufacturers.

Microsoft went on to develop "Windows" to compete with Apple's graphic interface, as well as scores of other software programs for desktop computers, covering almost every possible application.

At the time of this writing, Bill Gates is regarded as the richest person on earth, with a net worth of about $100 billion, nearly all of which is held in Microsoft stock.