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Bill Gates Synopsis Breviate
Bill Gates –founder, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation – is the world’s richest man. According to Forbes magazine, his 2009 net worth was $40 billion. He is also co-chair, along with his wife, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose endowment is over $34 billion, making it the largest private philanthropic foundation in the world. Gates founded Microsoft in 1975, when he was 19, and rose to the status of billionaire by the age of 31, the youngest person ever to achieve this status. The first maker of personal-computer software, Microsoft is now considered the most successful technology firm in history. A born businessman as well as a technical wizard, Gates "is to software what Edison was to the light bulb--part innovator, part entrepreneur, part salesman, and full-time genius." William Henry Gates III, the only son and the second-oldest of three children of Mary and William Henry Gates Jr., was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington. From a closely knit upper-middle-class family, his father was a partner in a prominent Seattle law firm and his mother was a teacher. A bright and energetic child, his parents enrolled him at the exclusive Lakeside School. In 1967 the school’s Mothers Club used proceeds from rummage sales to buy a digital training terminal that was linked by phone to a computer at a local computer company. Gates and his friend Paul Allen, who became co-founder of Microsoft, were immediately hooked. After scoring a perfect 800 on the math portion of the SAT, Gates enrolled at Harvard University as a pre-law major. Despite objections from his parents, Gates dropped out in 1975 at the end of his sophomore year. He and Allen moved to Albuquerque where they established a partnership called Microsoft. The key to Microsoft's phenomenal success has been its MS-DOS and Windows operating systems, the latter of which is now used in approximately 90 percent of all PCs worldwide. Microsoft's unprecedented dominance in the computer market has meant that Gates's original corporate mission--"to have a computer on every desk and in every home, all running Microsoft software"--has come close to reality. Despite the economic slowdown of the early 21st century, which has crippled many technology-related businesses, Microsoft has continued to experience solid growth, and the firm now employs more than 50,000 people in 78 countries.